BENGALURU: Music as an art form has often been on the forefront while creating awareness upon a subject. To reiterate this, Bengaluru-based six-piece rock outfit, Perfect Strangers, released their music video and original titled Shout, a song in support of the hearing impaired community. The video features a few of them singing out the lyrics through sign language, alongside social media influencers Anjali Shivaraman and Madhumita Natarajan, who perform the same.
Lead guitarist Debjeet Basu says Shout talks about reaching out to one’s conscience and standing up for what is right, putting aside biases. “Till date, our songs have been about social issues. For instance, our track, Blow Up Doll, speaks about mental health issues. We got in touch with the people with hearing disabilities through Helping Hands, an organisation which runs a Video Remote Interpretation Service (VRIS) for deaf people to use during emergencies,” says Basu, adding that the punchline of the song is, ‘If we shout, so can you’.
Talking about the idea behind Shout, Basu emphasises that the track was written during a period where he witnessed curbs on the freedom of expression. “Now, it is more relevant than ever, considering what is happening with the CAA in India. It is a question of what we are not comfortable about, like beating up students, etc. We want to use this song as a positive message but also to help a certain community that needs support,” said Basu, adding that the main focus is to raise funds of around `6.5 lakh for this particular community and educate hearing impaired girl children in five villages in India, through their upcoming 10-city tour in April and a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdera.
Speaking on the subject of awareness, Basu emphasised on their GAP programme, which came about after the band realised that parents of these children from the rural parts of Karnataka are unwilling to send their kids to deaf schools. “There are four deaf schools in Karnataka but the parents don’t send their girl child because of the fear of them being abused while they are away from home. Helping Hands spoke to the parents and volunteered to provide them a secure environment in these schools. They will also train them for 30 days,” says Basu, adding that the 30-day programme will comprise two trainers who will teach the basics of sign language –English and Kannada – along with computer operating and skill building to 30 girl children.