On the 15th of November 2014, Awaaz the social initiative of Manzar ICT successfully executed the first ever Flashmob in the history of ICT – at a jam packed Juhu Beach.
Montica Sawant, Vidushi Shukla and Anuj Agrawal report…
“Dance like there’s nobody watching. Or filming. Never mind that creepy guy in the corner with the camcorder. Just keep dancing.” – Jarod Kintz
The irony of flash mobs is that they started in Manhattan as a social experiment poking fun at hipsters and were supposed to highlight the need of the people to conform to “The Next Big Thing”, but have today evolved into a force for the good. Nobody can deny that these events are a fun way to grab eyeballs and with so many social causes that desperately need that, flash mobs are certainly an excellent opportunity to raise awareness as well as extend help to those who need it.
Manzar 2015 tied up with Childline 1098 for its first event, the Flash Mob as a part of its social initiative – Awaaz. Over a hundred students gathered at Juhu Beach on the evening of the 15th of November; traipsing about the sun kissed shore like it was just another Saturday evening. Suddenly, the beats of ‘Dhinka-Chikka’ filled the air and one of the students, Vaibhav Padale broke into a dance number alone. The others soon followed and within a glimpse of an eye a hundred odd students started dancing to the beats of popular numbers, blazing from the speakers. The onlookers, though confused at first, cheered on with great zeal. The other songs that were performed were ‘Zinda’, ‘Lose Control’, ‘Bum Bum Bole’ and ‘Tatad Tatad’.
What followed was a heartbreakingly beautiful silent skit, which focused on child abuse and rape. It was an awe inspiring performance which was synergic with the cause of Childline 1098, which is India’s first toll free help line for children in distress. They have been helping protect children’s rights since 1996 and have stepped in to help those street kids who seemingly have nothing left to lose. Representatives from the NGO then spoke about the importance of child welfare and the significance of Children’s Rights.
Refreshments followed, after which the students performed the routine at a different part of the beach. Even though there was a slight technical glitch with the music this time around, their spirit did not falter. The dancers continued to dance on counts and in a truly heartwarming spirit, the entire crowd began singing for them.
On this occasion the Spirit of ICT spoke to some of the people who were a part of the event. Maitreyi Oka, Media and Publicity head for Manzar 2015, shared, “Flashmobs are a unique, efficient, exceedingly fun way of making your point to the masses. Manzar and Awaaz wanted to do something striking this year and it was the dedication and effort of everybody who was a part of it that made it a success.”
Ronak Parmar, one of the choreographers of the dance commented, “I really loved the idea of the flash mob and the practices were a lot of fun. On the final day all the performers did very well holding on despite technical glitches, the crowd response was good, the skit was really well appreciated and everyone had a great time. Overall it was a great idea and equally well executed.”
We also spoke to Akanksha Shridhar, a First Year student for whom this was the first Manzar and Awaaz experience, who told us, “I don’t think everyone’s familiar with 1098-Childline, so dancing for the cause proved to be quite effective. Kids on the beach, despite having no idea about it, decided to be a part of it. I like how none of us lost spirit and continued dancing even though we faced technical difficulties. At the end of the day, I hope we made a difference. I’m proud to be part of such a noble cause!”
Congratulations to Awaaz and Manzar for trying to make a difference and doing such a great job of it!