Published: 10th August 2020
Why this inspirational rap anthem about Dharavi's fight against COVID-19 is what you need to listen to now!
Featuring masked rappers, the powerful track talks about how Dharavi – Asia’s largest slum made history by flattening the COVID-19 curve while urging the country to unite and face the pandemic
There are many examples from around the world that have shown that even if the outbreak is very intense, it can still be brought back under control. Some of these examples are Italy, Spain and South Korea, and even in Dharavi - a densely packed area in the megacity of Mumbai - a strong focus on community engagement and the basics of testing, tracing, isolating and treating all those that are sick is key to breaking the chains of transmission and suppressing the virus, said World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a few weeks ago. And now Dharavi has an inspirational rap anthem recounting its indomitable fight to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Dharavi Dream Project (TDDP) and EkDesh, a non-profit initiative and volunteer group recently launched the KarDikhaya! #AbTumhaariBaariHain (We have done it, now it’s your turn!) song. The anthem is a bilingual hip-hop track, featuring four rappers from the area MC Josh, Siva G, Amogh Baini and MC Siddhu. The video song begins with the WHO Chief's comments about Dharavi and how they fought the pandemic with efficient testing and other measures to curb the spread of the virus. The music video, which is partly shot in the slums of Dharavi and the rest at each of the rappers' houses, showcases the landscape and people from the place. Amid that, you can see masked rappers sing how Dharavi's model was a success and India too can come together to beat the odds.
The simple techniques to curb the spread is highlighted in the video song, focusing more on compliance with government guidelines, maintaining social distance, wearing masks — just as Dharavi did. "The aim of the anthem is to pay tribute to the efforts of BMC, Maharashtra government, people of Dharavi and the proactive measures they have taken to fight COVID-19. We wanted to let the entire world know that we can do it so the entire world can do too," says Dolly K Rateshwar, Co-Founder of TDDP.
Each and every element of the anthem, from the lyrics to the production to the filming of the music video, was ideated and executed by the artists themselves. "Dharavi has done so well, we thought could write something to portray their struggle and success story. We planned everything over the phone. We did quite a bit of research about the people's struggle with the virus, cases and everything else. Following that, we wrote down the lyrics of the song and composed it. We wanted to put across the message that Dharavi being such a crowded place in Mumbai could do it and come out triumphant then even the country can," says MC Josh, one of the rappers who composed the song. He went to add that even when they shot the videos at certain locations in Dharavi, "we maintained social distancing. At certain points, just two of us went for shooting and took proper permission before going there. We also shot a couple of segments at home due to the restrictions." The song currently has garnered over 65,000 views on YouTube.
The response has been overwhelming, MC Josh tells us. "We have been getting messages from all across the country, praising the song. AR Rahman also shared the song on his Twitter page and we were completely blown away. It has garnered a lot of views on all platforms and we weren't really expecting this much. We are glad that the song has reached such a vast audience and now it can contribute towards spreading awareness," he concludes.