Members of Bengaluru-based fusion band, Swarthama, say that they have always been socially conscious. But taking their concern for society a step further, the band has joined hands with an NGO, Global Water Challenge (GWC), The Gibson Foundation, and Deloitte, to highlight the water crisis in India and across the world.
The band’s new music video, shot on the song Pyaasi, from its self-titled album, portrays the global water crisis and a young girl’s search for water in rural India. Talking about how the association came about, the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist Vasu Dixit says, “We’ve had this song written since about three years and it was featured on our album that released last year. The Gibson Foundation, which was planning a music video on water crisis, along with GWC, approached us, and we readily agreed to be part of the campaign.”
Shekhar Kapur, a board member of the GWC, who is is currently in Cannes, France, managed to send a message about the issue. He says, “People react strongly to music. Pyaasi tells us of a problem that millions of Indians face everyday. Fresh water is one of the most important challenges that the world faces today.”
Jishnu Dasgupta, bass guitarist and backing vocalist of the band, feels socially relevant art can make a lot of difference. He says, “The intention of Pyaasi is to portray the attitude of today’s generation, of which we are a part. For us, water used to mean nothing more than a shower or a swim.”
The band wants to create awareness about the problem and not take a stand. “We are not asking people to do it our way because we were just as ignorant about water scarcity as they are. We are hoping for a change in attitudes, even if in a small way”, he adds.
Statistics say that one in eight people lack access to clean drinking water. Tanvi Nagpal, from GWC who is the director of the program states, “The water scarcity is more of an issue for rural India. Even if they have access to water, often it is not fit for consumption, putting a majority of people at risk.”