Jaipur labourer gives free music lessons to slum kids

Jaipur, Feb 25: A daily wage labourer, who could not puruse his own dream, is opening up a future for slum kids by teaching them music – for free.

Vijay, 25, who could not achieve his ambition of becoming a professional musician due to financial hurdles, spots musical talent in children from slums and encourages them to pursue it.

“I am not a professional musician or singer. My father was also a labourer. To earn some money in the part time, he used to play musical instruments at tourist spots. I always accompanied him,” Vijay told IANS.

“I learned to play these musical instruments….I started dreaming of becoming a professional musician,” said Vijay, adding that he had to let off his dream after his father died a few years ago and he became the sole bread earner for his family.

He earns around Rs.200 every day by working as a labourer to feed his family of three – his mother, a younger brother and himself.

“I could not pursue my dream, but my craving for music never died. I used to think how many people must have not been able to follow their dreams due to lack of resources. I then decided to give slum children free music lessons,” said Vijay.

He holds free music classes at a house in the Katputali Nagar slum area for two hours between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. every day. Around 30-50 students in the 3-15 age group attend his classes daily.

“I then go to work as a daily wage labourer. What makes me carry on is the fact that some of these kids have learnt fast and are really good,” he said.

“Most of these children are deprived of proper education and their lives were directionless in a way, but music has given them a purpose,” said Vijay.

He has a harmonium and a tabla and teaches students both vocal and instrumental music. “I am very fond of music and we all love the way he teaches us music,” Ram Kishore, a 10-year-old attending his class, told IANS.

(Anil Sharma ccan be contacted at anil.s@ians.in)

IANS