Episode 29: From the Streets to Becoming Rockstars with Abhijit Jejurikar

Abhijit Jejurikar: Founder of Dharavi Reloaded

Abhijit is a musician and the founder & curator of Dharavi Reloaded, which is India’s most-loved junk percussion band. It consists of kids from the slums of Dharavi (one of the largest slums in Asia). His knowledge imparting methods are exemplary, wherein he teaches music in a way that helps all the children recognize their talent quotient. He is of the belief that this learning tool will instill discipline and help kids find career opportunities in the future. This unique band creates music from waste material found in the slums of Dharavi such as drum barrels, coffee shakers, paint cans, plastic boxes and a lot more. This instills the concept of recycle, reuse, and respect. The initiative aims to enrich these kids’ lives, while also aspiring to create a bond between communities.

Abhijit believes he has a balance between dreaming and doing. He is more drawn to action, which he finds can spark dreams. However, every dream also needs an action plan to be successful!

Inspired by Jack Black

When Abhijit was younger, his dad gave him a Cassio keyboard. Over time he experimented with music and began to really dive into many different styles of music. He had the opportunity to play in a rock band and learned that music can connect so many different people no matter what culture or language.

School of Rock is one of Abhijit’s favorite movies and inspired him in teaching music! He learned how to draw out talents from people by developing confidence in them and pushing them to enter into talent competitions.

Creating Dharavi Reloaded

Abhijit realized he had the opportunity to teach what he learned about music to kids in the slums of Dharavi. Music could be a way to connect to the kids and lead them to other career options in the future. Dharavi is home to a large amount of dry waste from the surrounding cities. This naturally opened the door to the creation of music with various materials. Not only did this create a way for the new band to make music, but it also taught the idea of reusing, recycling and respecting. Plus it was fun for everyone! 

Middle School Advice

Be fearless in the pursuit of finding your gifts. It’s hard when you are being told to do something and your dream is to do something else, but continue forward taking steps toward your dream. Take the time to learn about and master your skill sets during this time! Find a good mentor who can help you discover your dreams.

Key Takeaways

  • Being confident in the ability of others helps build trust and relationships.
  • Be resourceful and find ways to implement the idea of reuse, recycle, and respect.
  • Don’t let success get to your head, but be fearless in the pursuit of your goals!

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