Music has the ability to transform someone physically, mentally and emotionally all the while nurturing their personality. Arjun Dsouza, one ambitious individual, realized the potential that can be brought out in people through music, decided to found a non-profit zero overhead, non-governmental organization that teaches music and dance to special children as well as physically disabled and economically backward students, in and around Mangalore. This organization encourages schools to include music and dance as a part of their academic curriculum and hires professional singers and dancers on a yearly basis to pay them to teach at these schools. They also provide free instruments for the students to practice their craft. The motive of the organisation stands for “Money should not be the reason for anyone who has the talent to stop dreaming.”
Money should not be the reason for anyone who has the talent to stop dreaming.”
Dreams filled with reason and a purpose
A dreamer and realist, Arjun as a 17-year-old boy knew he never wanted to restrict his life to a 9 to 5 job. His mind was clear on the facts which were that starting something new required capital. So he ventured into the Merchant Navy, with the intention of saving enough to kick start his dream. There was still a long way to go to start his own business and as far as he knew business was all about helping others. It so, happened that he visited a blind school with, Ashish Palanna, who Music for Change was started by and met blind kids who were passionate about music but had had very little means to learn. The school informed them that they didn’t have the resources or instruments and that’s when they decided to step in, and hence the story of Music for Change began.
Inhibition of music
Arjun describes to us the impact music has on special children with a low attention span and poor interpersonal skills, as he watches them then blossom into a person of their own. They work relentlessly and interact with each other and others with ease. He explains how it is dance along with the guidance and encouragement from their teachers that gives them the confidence to express themselves, perform in front of thousands of people and this is what makes them believe that music and dance is more than just science, art or an extra-curricular activity. It’s a mode of expressing yourself.
The ventures of the social entrepreneur
With his visit to the blind school being a turning point in his life, Arjun tells us how music has always been reserved for the ‘privileged’. To him it is unfortunate that even when musicians, singers or dancers set out to teach others, it is for those who can afford it due to the blunt fact that everyone needs to make a living. This is when they decided that it is time to give back to the world of music and art that has given them so much. Arjun has currently started a digital marketing firm where they work with clients who want to not just open a Facebook or Instagram page but want to make their presence felt in the digital space.
Arjun’s only advice is, “Just like any entrepreneurship it’s all about profit. However, as long as the people you are helping get the complete benefit from your work, and it adds value to their lives, you are successful. It’s all about them. The minute it becomes about you, the work you do becomes less of joy and more of a burden.” To him, one should be focused on improving someone else’s quality of life. Endless blessings and smiles, instead of recognition, thus making your life worth living.
Just like any entrepreneurship it’s all about profit. However, as long as the people you are helping get the complete benefit from your work, and it adds value to their lives, you are successful. It’s all about them. The minute it becomes about you, the work you do becomes less of joy and more of a burden.”