By MADHULATA CHAURASIA
PATNA: All the poor Dalit women initially knew was farming, soil cutting and baby-sitting but a unique initiative by them has brought a miraculous change in their life.
Pushed to the wall and survival a major problem, a group of women from Dhibra village under Danapur block in Patna district have formed an all-women music band which has now become the biggest hit.
Dressed in colourful saris and drums slinging across their shoulders, these women could be seen rehearsing any time in their homes or outside, indicating their confidence.
Such has been the change this initiative has ushered in their life that they have their children admitted to good schools, have flaunt smart phones in hands and have foods of their choice.
Also, they have been travelling to faraway places like Delhi and Bhubaneshwar, let aside the parts of Bihar, presenting a new story of women empowerment and confidence.
According to them, each member of the 10-member musical ban has been earning around Rs30,000 to Rs50,000 per month—something which they never expected earlier.
“It was not easy for us to gain mastery over drumming and reach to this stage. Husbands discouraged us while the other male villagers would taunt when began learning with the help of a local drummer but we hardly cared about their comments. Now, we are proud of our achievements,” Savita Devi who heads the 10-member musical band was quoted as telling the Gulf News.
Another band member Pancham Devi told the paper that in the beginning each member was getting hardly about Rs500 per day but now “we are earning around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 each day”. According to her, they always have to keep abreast of new tunes as the people demand playing such tunes and they can’t disappoint them.
“When we are not performing, we gather on the rooftop or in the field to rehearse to get perfection in our art,” she added.
However, these all was made possible by Suddha Verghese, a social worker who was awarded Padma Shree by the President in 2006 in recognition of her service to the poor.
“I always thought of the upliftment of the poor and Dalits and was surprised to see some women playing music at a social gathering during my trip to the South India. Soon I decided to implement this idea in Bihar too and thus came into being the all-women musical band,” Verghese who heads Nari Gunjan, a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Patna, told Gulf News.
Image courtesy: Social media and Nari Gunjan