Mitti Ke Sitare, a unique music reality show dedicated to underprivileged children aged between seven and 15, has reached its final round with 18 talented singers from the slums of Mumbai. The brainchild of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ wife Amruta Fadnavis, this reality show aims at binding creativity to cut across boundaries of social status.
“People who are able to afford a decent education have the capability to nurture their various talents. But children in the slums, who are treasure troves of talent, don’t have the necessary exposure or grooming, hence they are left behind,” rues the social activist.
Organised by the Divyaj Foundation, the talent hunt conducted auditions in 1187 Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) and slum schools in the city. The audition comprised three rounds that were conducted among a pool of 1.2 lakh Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and slum school children. While a total of 6000 students sent their voicenotes for round one, only 527 were selected for the round two.
“The selection criterion was solely based on the voice quality and their delivery of the song. They have the talent; we will fill them with confidence and improve them. This is where we come into the picture,” shares Amruta.
While the finalists have been undergoing special musical training from the Shankar Mahadevan Academy over the last five months, their holistic fitness training and mental well-being are being looked after by Mickey Mehta and the Mpower group, respectively. Even for those rejected, Amruta says, “They compulsorily attended the mental wellness training so that they don’t become negative. And still, remain positive even after losing.”
The 18 finalists will be performing in three groups of five, six and seven participants on June 22. On the day of the grand finale, all teams will perform together with Shankar Mahadevan and will take home a cash price of 25,000 each. “Together these children are very confident, so we decided to keep them in groups and not make them perform individually. Though somewhere they will be singing individually in the group, we still have to train them a lot for them to reach the rockstar mindset,” Amruta explains.
According to the social activist, from here on, the kids’ talent will take a backseat, their consistency and conviction the forefront. However, while each of their talents is unmatched, Amruta is really moved by their life stories. “There is a girl whose mother works as a house-help. Her mother is not only trying to make ends meet, but she is also supporting her child to fulfill her dreams. This little girl has stars in her eyes that she will do something in music,” the 40-year-old shares.
A trained classical singer herself, Amruta is of the opinion that just like sports, music should also reach to every child irrespective of their financial status. “Music is a great character builder. It has all the things you require to make a great human being. If you are practicing the alankars properly you are meditating,” she says. She will also be taking the stage at the finale.
Neither the activist nor her efforts will stop here — she and her team plan to provide mental health training for all the slum schools under BMC across the city. “We don’t need to have a negative attitude because of our birth. We will also be starting with free musical schools for children who have the gift. These children will get the best of guidance through these schools, established especially be for the underprivileged,” she concludes....