Music and dance take over the lives of 50+ children on weekend afternoons as they learn intently from their ‘guruji’, Mr Lal. These kids, mostly girls, learn music and dance as part of the ‘Hasmukh Kala’ program launched at Savda Ghevra.
The brainchild of my friend and IIM classmate, Hemu Javeri, Hasmukh Kala builds on the vision and experience of his family’s decades-old Swami Samarth Foundation in Mumbai. Hemu and his friend Shailja Dutt( the Delhi-based CEO of Stellar Search, the reputed executive search firm) first visited Savda Ghevra few months ago to get to know the community better. Thereafter, Hemu and Shailja quickly gave shape to the ‘Hasmukh Kala’ program, identified the right teacher, and got started.
Hemu has articulated his vision upfront,”Hasmukh Kala is a unique initiative that is dedicated to a woman who has inspired me over the years. Music is universal, and Hasmukh Kala is focused on using music, dance and drama, to empower women and unite communities. Through guru-shishya based training methods, and with instruments from both Indian and international music, intense learning is imparted to students to enrich their lives. The goal would be for our students to reach the pinnacle of music, dancing and acting and empower them to achieve their dreams!”.
One hour each of singing, dancing and instrumental music is now the regular routine on Saturdays and Sundays. A few boys also join in to play the ‘bongo’. While most of the talent at Savda Ghevra is raw, ‘guruji’ has already spotted some real bright sparks. Everyone is pretty excited - the kids, guruji, as well as Hemu and Shailja.
Hemu and Shailja are busy planning a big community music event on August 15th, as well future roll-out of Hasmukh Kala, in tandem with Growth-for-All’s own expansion in 2008 and 2009.
For me, personally, it is immensely gratifying to have committed people like Hemu step in and complement the Growth-for-All movement, with their own thoughts and vision. This is a virtuous cycle which lends great strength.