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News |  31 Jul 2020 18:41 |  By RnMTeam

The Dharavi Dream Project and EkDesh launch "Kar Dikhaya," an anthem about Dharavi's inspiring fight against the pandemic

MUMBAI: The Dharavi Dream Project (TDDP) and EkDesh, a non-profit initiative and volunteer group (by innovative resource venture StartupsVsCovid) have launched “Kar Dikhaya! #AbTumhaariBaariHain” (We have done it, now it’s your turn!), an inspirational anthem recounting Dharavi’s indomitable fight to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The bi-lingual, hip-hop track, featuring Dharavi rappers MC Josh, Siva G, Amogh Baini and MC Siddhu, narrates the valiant story of how Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, beat the odds to flatten the COVID-19 curve in their area. The music video pans over the crowded and hopeful landscape of the neighbourhood where masked emcees recount the success of the Dharavi model, while urging India to band together to defeat the odds. The simple techniques that are particularly highlighted in “Kar Dikhaya! #AbTumhaariBaariHain” are compliance with government guidelines, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and practicing good hygiene — just as Dharavi did.

The rap anthem, now streaming on TDDP’s social media platforms, features rappers MC Josh, Siva G, Amogh Baini and MC Siddu, Dharavi residents themselves. As they belt, “Humne kar dikhaya hai, #AbTumhaariBaariHain (We’ve done it, now it’s your turn,)” the rappers narrate their own personal journeys while offering hope, reassurance and confidence, vanquishing the worry that beating COVID-19 is impossible. Every element of the anthem, from the lyrics to the production to the filming of the music video, was conceived and executed by the artists themselves, in compliance with the norms of social distancing and hygiene. Together, the rappers declare to the rest of the country: curbing the coronavirus is possible when communities and authorities join hands to work together.

Says Dolly K. Rateshwar (Co-Founder, The Dharavi Dream Project), “As the pandemic rages on, social distancing is of utmost importance. However, places such as Dharavi — Asia’s largest slum — can’t conform to the strict codes of COVID-19 conventions. When almost every living space in the neighborhood is home to 10-12 family members, and its inhabitants live in a small, 10x10 area, the odds are inevitably stacked against a favorable outcome. Despite the challenge, the people of Dharavi bent the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic in their neighbourhood, setting a unique example of how citizens can work together to observe proactive measures and squash the spread of the virus.”

“Artists from our very own creator base in the neighborhood - The Dharavi Dream Project, too accepted the responsibility of flattening the curve. Supported by EkDesh, they used the street form and lingo of hip-hop, TDDP artists helped the community vanquish the virus by urging everyone to unite on the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, proving that art, information and education when made accessible and localized, can truly be a powerful tool of widespread change.” added Rateshwar.

When Dharavi was witnessing a steep increase in new cases, EkDesh supported The Dharavi Dream Project in raising awareness about the coronavirus and boosting its residents’ resilience. To this effect, EkDesh also drove a behavioural-change initiative, encouraging people to wear home-made masks in the neighbourhood. TDDP artists, despite personal challenges, then choreographed a hip-hop dance sequence as well as a rap composition to encourage Dharavi’s youth to embrace home-made masks. The breaking sequence has since garnered massive views and support on digital platforms, including WhatsApp, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where TDDP was supported and amplified by leading Bollywood director-choreographers Remo D’Souza and Bosco Martis, as well as 2015 World of Dance winner Shantanu Maheshwari.

On April 1st, 2020, Dharavi was declared a COVID-19 hotspot, instilling a fear among residents that it would be impossible to save Dharavi. But to everyone’s pleasant surprise, the people of Dharavi rose above all odds to effectively control the spread of the coronavirus. Following the method of 4 Ts — tracing, tracking, testing, and treating — the residents of Dharavi sensibly masked up, maintained social distancing and practiced a strict code of hygiene, especially as they inhabit cramped living spaces while sharing community toilets. The active cases of COVID-19 in Dharavi have since reduced to a paltry two as of July 29th, proving that community unity, education and action is essential to overcoming the coronavirus.

EkDesh, a non-profit initiative has been promoting usage of home-made masks since early April. Since then they have also rolled out several initiatives aimed towards driving a behavioural-change and ensuring that people are wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. The team collaborated with The Dharavi Dream Project to create a hip-hop dance sequence and a rap composition to encourage all to follow Dharavi model to fight Covid-19 and if they can do it so can we.