"Faith Gonsalves" Bringing music to the street children of Delhi.
“Every Child has the ability and right to excel If given the opportunities and encouragement.”
Faith Gonsalves,a young history Hons.graduate from Lady Shri Ram,Delhi In 2008 walked through the dusty slums of Sarai, New Delhi where children are not fortunate enough to have proper home ,food or education.
Faith believed that the only thing separating these kids from more affluent peer Is “Opportunity”.
She started the Initiative with 5 people founded ‘Music Basti’-an arts education programme that focuses on creating learning and exposure opportunity for hundred ‘at risk’ children such as orphans , abuse victims, child labours,beggars In Institutionalised child care organisation
“Music is a really powerful way of communicating and It’s a really powerful equaliser” she says.
It also helps In cognitive development, social and emotional skills,learning and academic excellence for children.Music gives these underprivileged kids self confidence, esteem and creativity for success.
Over the last decade,the program has worked with more than 1000 students who Gonsalves says,would never have a chance otherwise to hold a public platform or stand on stage.
More than 300 musicians have contributed to the program,and yet persuading with the teachers to make long term commitments Is very challenging. The teaching pedagogy focuses on promoting best practices In classrooms Including motivating kids to express through music by writing their own songs.Each year there is a concert “Re-Sound”, where more than 1000 people are In the audience and these kids play their own compositions with a different theme.
In 2018 It was on Issues of non-discrimination and 2019 was about “how we can make a real difference In the world we live In.”
‘Music Basti’ Intended to help develop life skills and confidence for children from vulnerable background. Faith was a boon to these kids who not only faced poverty, malnutrition, diseases but also felt an overwhelming sense of powerlessness.
“Seeing the program in action, it’s always deeply encouraging and deeply motivating, especially to see children enjoying the process of learning, not being afraid by it,” she says. “But it also reminds me that we have a really long way to go in trying to take this model of education to many, many more children in our city, but also in our country.”
Faith was listed among Forbes 30 under 30 first ever Asia list-2016. She Is the executive director of Integrated Development Education Association (IDEA) which deals with understanding the root causes that normalises Issues of abuse and violence against children In New Delhi.
She is the Director, Public Engagement of Enabling Leadership -which uses creative medium like football and music to develop leadership among children. Just for kids, Music Basti, Build Maya (Lego based) are a part of the Institution.
Ms Gonsalves Is the recipient of the “Young Trailblazer Awards-2017 (Given by BD foundations)”. She also won the prestigious “Karamveer Puraskaar.”
Her deep belief In the transformative power of music Is the source of the power of work she does now. Started 12 years ago Music Basti In a small room Is now spreading joy to the kids of New Delhi, Dharwad and Pune.
In India where only 10% children has access to higher education.Faith’s Initiative has given these kids confidence and hope for a better tomorrow.
As Abraham Lincoln once said-