Hyderabad: Sounds and melodies rule their world. The absence of sight is made up for with the flowing notes of music. But even then, life remains a struggle for these visually challenged singers, who are going around the city, singing soulful melodies and trying to earn a livelihood not for just themselves, but for 23 […]
Hyderabad: Sounds and melodies rule their world. The absence of sight is made up for with the flowing notes of music. But even then, life remains a struggle for these visually challenged singers, who are going around the city, singing soulful melodies and trying to earn a livelihood not for just themselves, but for 23 others who face similar physical challenges.
You might have seen them near Film Nagar, or other busy junctions in the city. Venkata Ramana, Nageshwar Rao and Y Devi make the three-member orchestra, singing their hearts out at street corners, trying to make people throw in a few notes so that they can earn a meal for their visually challenged friends back in Gudivada of Andhra Pradesh.
None of them are trained musicians, but life has trained them in such a way that their songs make vehicles slow down and the people pause for a moment to listen to them.
From Telugu Classics like ‘Punya Bhoomi Naa Desham’ and ‘Ramulamma O Ramulamma’ to recent movie songs, they sing and play musical instruments all by themselves. Some passersby, with the songs tugging at their heartstrings, make small donations, mostly Rs 10 and Rs 20.
The trio, part of the Swara Madhuri Andha Vikalangula Aarthika Sahayaradham, are the only ones among the 25 physically challenged ones in their group who can sing or play musical instruments. The rest stay in a rented house in Gudivada or go for daily wage jobs when they get an opportunity.
They are supported by 25-year-old K Sundeep, an auto-rickshaw driver who has dedicated his services to them and drives them around.
“Supporting physically challenged people gives me satisfaction. We completely depend on appreciation in the form of donations. To support us, people can contact us on 62815 92469,” he said, adding that the orchestra also performs at schools and other events besides showcasing their talent on the streets.
Interestingly, singing was the last option they tried out while fighting for a livelihood.
“I have an MA in English Literature, but had to switch to singing only because I was unable to get a job,” said Venkata Ramana, while Nageshwar Rao, who is a graduate, said he had started singing after failed attempts to secure a job. “I have my wife and two children to provide for,” he said. Devi too has similar struggles in life, with their songs echoing the pain from their hearts.