As Indians were glued to their TV sets for the Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly bypoll results, government and people's apathy towards Assam flood victims seemed to have been of much more concern to some of the most prominent faces from the Indian music fraternity than the polls outcome.
Spearheaded by Papon and Vishal Dadlani, musicians like Shekhar, Arijit Singh, Benny Dayal, Shilpa Rao, Indian Ocean, Neeti Mohan and Harshdeep Kaur came together to organise a fundraising concert #FORASSAM in Delhi on Sunday, in a bid to raise awareness about the series of floods that devastated Assam last month affecting 42 lakh people in the state.
The concert, which was organised at the Blue Frog, attracted more crowds than the available seating capacity at the venue and the total money collected was meant to be used as relief aid for flood victims.
While talking to IBNLive, music composer-singer Vishal Dadlani revealed how he came about the idea of organising a music event for a cause with his friends in the Bollywood industry.
It all started with a tweet by him to another singer-music composer Papon: Where is the Assam flood-relief frenzy? Shocking lack of empathy for the North East. @paponmusic can we do something? Fundraiser gig, maybe?
Where is the Assam flood-relief frenzy? Shocking lack of empathy for the North East. @paponmusic can we do something? Fundraiser gig, maybe?- VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) October 5, 2014
The two decided to mobilise other artists to sing for a cause.and raise awareness. A proud Dadlani said it took him merely 8 calls to his friends to set the artiste lineup for the concert.
"As Papon and I agreed to organise the event, I made 8 calls and each time, my proposal was instantly welcomed," he said, adding that even as Shreya Ghoshal had agreed to come, she had prior commitments on the dates of the concert due to which she couldn't.
Papon, who himself hails from Assam, said,"the intention was to generate awareness and attention about the flood situation in Assam and generate as much relief funds as possible towards the cause."
The tickets were priced at Rs 600 each and the total money collected from the concert will be handed over to the Chief Minister's fund as relief aid, he added.
Sharing similar views with Papon and Dadlani, Shilpa Rao said," North-east is far neglected by the rest of India. So many people were affected by the floods, but the issue was never highlighted as much as the Kashmir or the Uttarakhand floods."
Addressing the people of North East as a part of one family, she said," The least we can do is stand for them and raise awareness about their problems (by means of music) so that Indians can come together to help them in their hour of need."
The concert, which emanated a sense of togetherness for Assam flood victims, saw fans waving in the air and singing along with the singers as they took to the stage one after the other to present their all-time hits.
While Harshdeep Kaur set the mood with 'Kabira', 'Heer', Benny Dayal got the fans cheering with Bang Bang's title track and Arijit Singh presented his trademark romantic song 'Tum hi ho'.