A fundraiser by Music Mulakatein helps Mumbai's NGOs provide food and healthcare kits to the poor

In a bid to help non-governmental organisations which have been distributing food and providing basic hygiene kits to the needy in various areas of Mumbai, Music Mulakatein, set-up by the music agency Gatecrash, has kicked off a fundraiser in keeping with its spirit of bringing about social change through music.

Members of ELECTROPHAZZ, the French jazz group have created the music video A Message in the Dark from the safety of their homes to reach out to as many people as possible, and motivate them to contribute towards raising funds under this initiative. So far, the fundraiser has managed to collect more than 6.5 lakh rupees to help the NGOs working on ground in slums and red-light areas in Mumbai.

Emmanuelle de Decker, co-founder of Music Mulakatein says, "I only asked ELECTROPHAZZ if they'd like to do a small video to help us. They called friends and ended up getting more than 70 musicians together who wanted to help, put everything together and created this beautiful and powerful video!!"

The lockdown brought into effect due to the threat of the coronavirus also brought the country's economy to an uneasy halt rendering thousands of daily wage labourers, house help, and other engaged in services such as plumbing and construction, unemployed and without an alternate source of income. Since the lockdown, multiple sectors including NGOs, film and fashion industries and commercial brands have been contributing to help those in plight by either raising funds or by cooking food, manufacturing reusable face masks and protective gear and providing basic healthcare kits to the poor. Also to have joined this group of people has been Music Mulakatein, created with an aim to approach music as a powerful medium to effect change.

Music Mulakatein has been running as an NGO that organises community music events, conducts concerts and workshops at various spaces across the city, taking a wide range of music such as jazz, hip-hop and more to those people who do not have direct access to it. Expounding the idea of music as an art that brings people together, Decker points out, "I really believe music can be extremely powerful, to pass emotions and messages, to break boundaries and to inspire people to act. And that video has definitely been helping us to raise funds, so that's one of the best concrete proofs of what music can do!!"

The proceeds from the fundraiser are being distributed among several NGOs operating across Mumbai including Kranti, which works with daughters of sex workers and trafficked girls, Apnalaya, working towards helping severely deprived communities in the city, Corp India, which runs 20 community centres and orphanages across Mumbai and Purnata, engaged in working towards ending sex trafficking and providing healthcare and education to sex workers and their families.

While girls at Kranti have managed to cook and distribute food among 400 families in the city's red-light area, Apnalaya which operates at Shivaji Nagar in Govandi has supplied ration kits to as many as 8000 households, and is aiming at doubling this figure. For its part, Corp India is providing basic food packages to daily wage labourers who have lost out on their livelihoods and Purnata has been providing food and hygiene items for a family of four to five for a period of four weeks.

"Our plan was to start our training programs by May 2020, but then priorities shifted. We're regularly in touch with the NGOs with whom we organised the community events, and we realised they're working really hard to take care not only of their own communities, but also of people around them, people who need it the most," Decker notes explaining why Music Mulakatein decided to play their part in helping these organisations.

"We thought that the least we could do is help them to help others, so starting a fundraiser for them was quite obvious."

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She adds, "Unfortunately, I have not been able to go to the slums (we're not allowed to move around in Mumbai), but I try and give some food to people I see in my district."

As well, nearly 10 percent of the funds received by Music Mulakatein through this fundraiser are being reserved by Decker and co-founder Tanish Thakker for the NGO's initiatives that will be organised post the coronavirus lockdown.

Says Decker, "As soon as we can, we want to organise concerts in collaboration with NGOs, in community centers, slums and hospitals. And we want to start our training program for young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds. This program aims at developing their employability skills (communication, coordination, creativity), with hands-on-ground experience by organising these concerts with NGOs."

Find more information on the fundraiser here.

Updated Date: May 15, 2020 11:23:33 IST



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