Art is a powerful medium. Especially when the art form in question is music, a unifying force which has the potency to bridge and mend crevices. So, when Pankaj Mullick, founder of a creative forum called Art Collide, and musician Sushant Thakur thought of mobilising funds and resources to help the victims of Uttarakhand floods, busking (performing on the street for voluntary donations) was what they agreed on doing.
“Sushant was gung ho about busking, while I wasn’t initially. It is a very new concept in India. But I eventually gave in. Music has a certain connect with the masses, so it became our choice of collaboration,” says Pankaj. With volunteers from Artists Alliance for Uttarakhand, along with city-based bands, Rock the Cause (as the initiative is called) opened to a stellar response at Haus Khas Village last week. They managed to raise almost R80,000 along with supplies in the first leg of the event, which lasted four days. From clothes, medicines, utensils, tarpaulins, torches, buckets, mugs to umbrellas, all the proceeds that will eventually go to the NGO Goonj, have left the organisers astounded.
They are set to make a comeback today at Cafe 27 in Kailash Colony, and they hope for the best. “It isn’t easy for most of us to go to the tragedy-struck areas in Uttarakhand to help out. But the least we can do is collaborate with like-minded people to raise funds. The support from indie bands as well as the authorities concerned has been great,” says Sushant. “Busking has never been done in India. But I had faith that people would come for the cause and the response was tremendous. Having Goonj on board gives us more credibility,” he adds.
Catch them here
What: Rock the Cause — Artists Alliance for Uttarakhand
Timing: 8pm onwards
Where: Cafe 27, Building 26, Level 2, Kailash Colony Market