Published: 07th March 2019
This Karnataka govt school teacher is trying to bring about social awareness through his songs. Here's how
Hanumanthappa Kuri, a school teacher-cum-singer from Koppal has a huge fan following. All thanks to his melodious Kannada songs. Now, his songs are played to create awareness about various causes
Every time the elections are around the corner, one notices vehicles circling the neighbourhood and playing regional songs on their loudspeakers which implore each and everyone to vote. It so happens that by the time elections are upon us, these catchy songs are on the tip of our tongues. Such is the magic of these songs which successfully spread awareness and employ simple words to do so. Hanumanthappa Kuri from Koppal is the man behind many of these songs. He has not only written them but even sang a few of these earworms.
Hanumanthappa is a government school teacher and has been teaching for over 13 years now. He teaches Kannada and Social Studies to students of classes I to VII and has written over 50 Kannada songs on social issues which create awareness about various causes like casting vote in elections, enrollment of children in schools, population census, farmers suicides, the current political scenario and more. He says, "While teaching is my profession, writing and singing songs is what gives me real happiness. I believe that literature and art should not be just limited to entertaining people, it should be used as a medium to convey a message to the society. Hence, I am using this art to do so."
Social media fans: As many as 142 subscribers have subscribed to his YouTube channel called Jarugti Vahini
Singing is not something that Hanumanthappa just happened to be good at, he always had it in him. He explains, "Coming from a rural background, the surroundings that I lived in inspired me to act in plays and sing songs on different occasions. I acted in several plays and dramas that were presented across Karnataka. That is when I developed an interest in writing my own songs. Apart from this, my mother used to tell me that we all need to contribute to society and create an identity. This motivated me even further to write and sing songs."
Hanumanthappa travels to Sindhanur to record his songs at a studio called Sajid Recording Studio. It takes up to `2,000 to record one song. Till date, he has spent `80,000 from his own pocket to record over 50 songs. Recently, he released two cassettes of his songs. "Last year, I recorded two songs on why voting is important and the importance of enrolling children in schools. I think that both these songs are applicable in today's scenario as well. It is important for people to cast their votes in every election and they need to do so without being carried away by the money that our politicians pay. Similarly, when it comes to the enrollment song, these days, the situation of schools is getting worse. Due to a lack of students, they are shutting down. Therefore, I wrote a song about it and recorded it," he explains.
I will continue to write many more songs and even sing them. With my efforts, I might even get a bigger platform to showcase my talent
Hanumanthappa Kuri, Government school teacher
To this teacher's surprise, both these songs were used by the State Election Commission and education department officials in Koppal district. "When I released the cassette of these songs, I approached the district administration officials and asked them if they can use my songs to campaign for the various causes they support and they agreed. During elections, my song titled 'Matava Haku Baaro' was played using a moving auto. In the month of March, April and May, the song about enrollment of children in school was played. The officials and villagers have appreciated me for my work and encourage me to write more such songs."
Hanumanthappa has taken to social media like Facebook and YouTube where he posts his songs so that people can listen and watch them. He has his own YouTube channel called Jagruti Vahini where he keeps posting his new songs every now and then. "There have been days when 8,000 people have viewed my songs and have appreciated me. This kind of support and encouragement from people on social media platforms has led me to write many songs. My next song is about mobile addiction among people, especially school and college students and how they can control it," he concludes.