An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Children, even infants are capable of sympathy but only after adolescence are we capable of compassion. This compassion automatically helps you to relate to people because you no longer consider them as a drain on your energy. It brings you to a stop, after which you rise above yourself. It is this very compassion which made a difference in the lives of a team of young IT professionals. The collective dream of this team of IT professionals under the banner of ‘Cartman Society’ drawn from various software companies in Bangalore recently became a reality. These youngsters committed to the cause of improving education standards for the children of Kadesh Home, Bangalore, initiated ‘Project Utthaan’, a fund raising effort by launching a music album ‘Utthaan’.
The Cartman Society had earlier arranged a project Utthaan cycle rally on the streets of Bangalore on April 8th, to spread awareness on the project. Music album ‘Utthaan’ was launched in collaboration with music company Saregama followed by a concert by Indian music bands EKA and AGAM, who also supported the cause by performing live at the launch event at Mount Carmel College Auditorium. The four-hour fusion, Sufi and Bollywood themed concert left the audiences spellbound. These IT professionals not only fund the education of these underprivileged children in the Kadesh Home but also teach them during the weekends, when they are not working. They have dedicated their lives to the upliftment of these wonderful children and have been their mentors. It was during this interaction with the children that the young team recognised how immensely talented these children were and they decided to give these children a platform to showcase their talents. As a result of that realisation, emerged ‘Utthaan’, the collective dream of this team.
‘Project Utthaan’ is a collection of seven songs written by Arun Kumar and composed by Agnel Roman, multi faceted, young music composer.
The theme song of this album is sung by Sajid Ali Ghafoor, a Pakistan-based singer. “Our team of 400 professionals not only support the Kadesh Home but three other NGOs have raised funds to meet the different needs of these children,” says Abhishek Singh, an IT professional and project manager of ‘Utthaan’.
Sharing his experience with us, Agnel Roman, the composer of this music album said, “These children have been so wonderful that more than them learning from me, I have learnt from them. This album does not belong to me, it belongs to them. They have sung and enjoyed themselves to the fullest. These children have been true heroes of this project and it has been a joy working with them.” He smiles and adds, “There have been times when we have had differences of opinion, but when we would hear the children sing it, the song would sound so perfect that we forgot all differences.” Abhishek, Agnel and Arun promised the audience a magical evening and indeed the children; the two bands and the solo dance lived up to this promise and made the evening the more magical. Many in the auditorium were moved to tears as they watched the children sing the songs.
“The best part of this event is that there is no money involved. Nobody took money for anything they have done to make this launch a success; instead they have only given money for anything that the children might need. We did not get any big sponsors for the event. The whole event is running on individual sponsors whose names doesn’t even come to light, but yet they have so abundantly given to these children and their upliftment. This shows that humanity still exists,” says Arun. The children enjoyed the past few weeks that they have spent with Agnel and Arun as they prepared themselves for the recording of the album. Sixteen-year-old Saroja says, “I loved all the songs, especially ‘Aasama khol do’ and I love Agnel and Abhishek because they are very sweet to us.” The children also sang and danced to the beats of both the bands -EKA and AGAM. EKA, a Delhi-based band, calls its music Swatantra Rock- music beyond music, time and boundaries and AGAM, a Bangalore-based band whose music combines the rhythm structures of Carnatic music with the aesthetic principles and tonal elegance from the western world.
Sajid Ghafoor, theme song singer, couldn’t make it to the event but he was present there through a video, where he said, “Let’s all join hands toward this event and come together to give these children ‘Utthaan’ in their lives.” Indeed, let us come together and show these children that humanity and compassion still exist in this world and give these children and many other underprivileged children around the nation the ‘Utthaan’ (upliftment) that they deserve.