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Why music is magic

Pearl Forss
2nd Jun 2018
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You have never heard of Green Day quite like this: Boulevard of Broken Dreams being sung passionately by at-risk girls in a shelter. 

Musicians engage with children

It is safe to say that this might be one of the most unique covers of the Green Day hit you'll ever hear.

"Many of these children have been abused or have suffered trauma. Music helps to engage them, it helps them to relax," Faith Gonsalves, Founder of Music Basti, says.

Volunteers from the non-profit help give the girls a musical voice as a means of instilling in them a confident and creative voice.

“I try to come once a week. I spend some time with them, teach them about the guitar. They are very engaging kids because they always want to know about the world," says 20-year-old Dhruv Visdanath, a volunteer with Music Basti.

"The idea is to just be there with the kids because they have faced a lot of abandonment and just being there for the kids, teaching them, sort of relaxes them and makes them happier. It makes you feel that you are the one consistent thing in their life,” he adds.
Music Basti creates opportunities for students to perform at local and national concerts, events, and festivals.

Music Basti also organises performances for these children. “These performances help to build their confidence and self-worth," Faith adds.

For her efforts, Faith was also featured in Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list in 2016 for social entrepreneurship, and has also received CNN IBN’s Real Hero award and the Karmaveer Puraskaar.

And the hard work of those involved, along with the magic of music pays off when the children respond positively.

"I love music, singing and playing instruments," says 14-year-old Jasmine Sheikh. "I love it because my heart loves it! When we are here, it feels like it’s something different."

So far, Music Basti has worked with more than 400 children and 500 volunteers in Delhi, often in shelters such as Kushi Home, where Jasmine and her Green Day-singing friends live.

Faith hopes to develop the programme further by making it easy for others to set up similar initiatives across the country.


Disclaimer: This article was first published in Our Better World, Singapore International Foundation. The views expressed by the author are his/her own and do not necessarily reflect that of YourStory.

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