Published: 06th February 2019
Unchained melody: How Luis Dias is bridging social barriers with his music and lyrics
Dr Luis Dias founded Child's Play Foundation to teach music to those who don't have access to it
Physician-turned-musician Dr Luis Dias regaled the audience at IIT Bhubaneswar's annual techno-management fest, Wissenaire 2019. The three-day fest saw many speakers delivering inspiring speeches and his tale was one of the most inspiring ones. Right before he got on stage, we caught up with him to understand his life and his purpose more deeply. For any Goan Christian who grows up in Goa, music becomes an integral part of their lives. Add to that the fact that in Dr Dias' hometown, the chapel was a stone throw away. He started very young, when it comes to music, but life had different plans and he shifted to the UK for further studies and started working there. "But it always seemed unfair to me that some people go hungry while others live in the lap of luxury," recalls Dr Dias and adds, "Music was my way of bridging the gap." He came back to Goa and started Child's Play Foundation in 2009. The motive was simple, teaching underprivileged children music. "And this year and time is extremely auspicious for me because we complete our ten year anniversary," informs Dr Dias. The project has reached as many as 350 children.
IIT Bhubaneswar three-day fest, which started on February 1 and went on till February 3, also had workshops, exhibitions, and guest lectures. Stand-up comedian Kenny Sebastian performed on the last day
Today, in his orchestra, underprivileged children play alongside privileged ones. "They don't just play, they create harmony in the literal sense, they create music together. It shows that no matter if you are rich or poor, hard work pays if you have the virtue of pursuing and persisting at something," explains Dr Dias, who also writes reviews and music related articles for newspapers. He also informs that children from a disadvantaged sector tend to focus better than those who have several video games at their disposal because they have lesser distractions.
On stage: Children of the foundation have completed three projects and have performed 20 concerts | (Pic: IIT Bhubaneswar)
It's proven scientifically that music education improves grades and yet the government doesn't do much for it and this fact doesn’t sit well with Dr Dias. "Also, the kind of spirit that is going around of doing away with anything 'not Indian' could be determinantal. Look at China for example. After shunning everything western for decades they made a turn around in the 90s and now have orchestras even at the kindergarten level," he rues. “Not only do we need good teachers, but also need leaders who are thinking of the well-being of children,” he opines.
This is the first time that Dr Dias was visiting Bhubaneswar and was quite excited about the prospects. "This is the farthest I have been to talk about my cause," he said
Whatever said and done, Dr Dias will continue contributing his bit towards the cause of musical education and he is currently most excited about the music summer camp, which they started conducting last year. This time, an upgrade is on the cards, as there will be two levels - beginner and intermediate. How encouraging are people towards his cause, we ask. "The support comes in from not just Goa, but all parts of the world and is certainly much stronger now," admits Dr Dias, a fact that makes us very happy.
For more on him, click on childsplayindia.org