Maharashtra jail inmates' troupe plays drums at Pune Ganpati mandal

Published: Sep 02, 2019, 18:06 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Ganesh Chaturthi festivities began on Monday, September 2, across Maharashtra as thousands of households installed Ganesh idols with hundreds of Ganesh mandals.

Ganesh idol. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Ganesh idol. Pic/Suresh Karkera

In what can be called unique and probably a first, thirty inmates played traditional percussion instruments as a band during Ganesh Chaturthi on Monday. The inmates belonged to an open segment of Pune's Yerawada Central Jail.

The inmates first arrived at Guruji Talim Ganesh mandal in Pune. They were trained in playing dhol (drum) and tasha (a type of kettle drum). They went on to proclaim their identity as 'Yerawada Open Jail Dhol Pathak'. Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) Sunil Ramanand had approached a local troupe 'Nadbrahma' in order to get the inmates trained and also laid the foundation of the novel experiment.

"I think for the first time we are doing something like this where 30 prisoners are coming on to the streets with their dhol-tasha and performing before thousands of people. This is going to be a permanent troupe and we intend to have them play next year as well," Ramanand said. They have trained for two hours every day for the past three months, with Nadbrahma members visiting the jail for the purpose, the ADG added.

Many office-bearers at Guruji Talim Mandal were very happy as the group is famously known in Pune for hosting several social causes in order to make society a better place. "We are known for undertaking social work from various areas. This activity will help the prisoners get back into the mainstream of society after release from jail," said Pratap Pardeshi, head of Guruji Talim Mandal.

Atul Behre, chief of Nadbrahma, said "The effort to train the inmates was exhausting but the results made it worthwhile. It came as a challenge for us because it needs good and regular training to play dhol and tasha. It is exhausting and requires full attention as various compositions are played on the instruments," Behre said.

Ganesh Chaturthi festivities began on Monday, September 2, across Maharashtra as thousands of households installed Ganesh idols with hundreds of Ganesh mandals.

Inputs from PTI

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