Dharavi’s rap on COVID’s knuckles

Hip-hop artistes from Asia’s largest slum, Dharavi in Mumabai have come out with an anthem highlighting the area’s inspiring fight against the pandemic

Representative Image (Photo Cpurtesy: IANS)
Representative Image (Photo Cpurtesy: IANS)


Now that most are familiar with the underground sounds of Dharavi in Mumbai that pierced mainstream sensibilities with the film 'Gully Boy', the hip-hop artistes from Asia's largest slum have come out with an anthem highlighting the area's inspiring fight against the pandemic.

Titled 'Kar Dikhaya', launched by The Dharavi Dream Project and EkDesh, the bi-lingual, hip-hop track, features Dharavi-based rappers including MC Josh, Siva G, Amogh Baini and MC Siddhu.

The music video pans over the crowded 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 techniques highlighted include compliance with government guidelines, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and practicing good hygiene.

In the anthem, now streaming on TDDP's social media platforms, the rappers narrate their own personal journeys while offering hope, reassurance, confidence and vanquishing the worry that beating COVID-19 is impossible. All elements 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 maintaining hygiene.

Dolly K. Rateshwar, Co-Founder of The Dharavi Dream Project adds, "How can a place like this conform to the strict codes of COVID-19 conventions? When almost every living space in the neighbourhood is home to 10-12 family members, and its inhabitants live in a small, 10x10 area, the odds are inevitably stacked against a favourable outcome. Despite the challenge, the people of Dharavi bent the curve of the 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."

In fact, artists from the project, supported by EkDesh, used the street form and hip-hop lingo to do their bit during the height of the pandemic. "This proves that art, information and education when made accessible and localized, can truly be a powerful tool of widespread change," concludes Rateshwar.

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