Mumbai music group raises funds for slum kids' education
Indie outfit The Indian Jam Project collects Rs 2.5 lakh for underprivileged children of Asalfa in Ghatkopar with a classical adaptation of the Justice League score; music video features the young ones as superheroes
Still from the video
It's not uncommon for popular names from the Indian music fraternity to perform for charity and raise funds for social causes. But, in a country where independent musicians are struggling to find a space for themselves, The Indian Jam Project proved that when it comes to a noble cause, intent matters over economics. With their latest offering — a cover of the Justice League theme, the city-based music group raised over Rs 2.5 lakh to fund the education of kids from Ghatkopar's Asalfa slums.
Interestingly, the video also features children from Asalfa, as they channel the superhero in them.
Chaitali Shinde aka Wonder Woman in a still from the video
Tushar Lall, founder, composer and producer of the indie band that is known for their classical covers of international songs, says he wanted to use the cover for a noble cause as he felt it was his "best work to date". "I had a concept in mind where we could trail the underprivileged kids, who form their own Justice League in their slum. With the help of my team and friends at Qyuki [co-producer], we made it happen," says Lall.
Owing to IJP's two-lakh-strong subscriber base, the donation campaign saw an overwhelming response within a fortnight of the video being released. "The collections are close to Rs 2.5 lakh now. With the money, we can pay off the monthly fee of 250 children from the slum."
The kids try their hand at the guitar
But, the 23-year-old is certain about sponsoring only those kids who take their academics seriously. "I'm planning on starting a scholarship for students who top their classes in 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades. Usually, the dropout rates are maximum in these classes, and if a kid is topping his/her class in 12th, I would like to pay the annual fee for the rest of the year," he reasons.
Tushar Lall in the video
Lall says spending a week at Asalfa was a life-changing journey for him and his team. "We scouted the slum for four days and shot the video in two days. We learnt a lot from the kids. For instance, I got burgers, fries and Coke for everyone from McDonald's. They'd never eaten food from McDonald's before. When I asked them to gorge on it, a kid told me, 'Dada, not till everyone's present. I want to see their expressions when they eat something so delicious.' They would always share things with each other."
The success of the Justice League tribute (it has garnered over one lakh views so far) has encouraged IJP to work on the Avengers score and direct it towards a noble cause too. Asked if the warm response indicates that the heydays are back for indie musicians, and Lall says, "Sadly, indie musicians still aren't earning enough to survive. Since we release our work on YouTube, we [have the advantage of] catering to a global audience."
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