Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Youth ambassadors

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No one could have represented Meghalaya and the North East as cultural icons, as the Shillong Chamber Choir has done. After their stunning win in India’s Got Talent -Season 2 in October 2010, the Choir has gone places and is performing at several reputed platforms across the country. The SCC has also made an excellent entry into the world of Bollywood which is where talent is not only recognized but paid for. Their recent recording of, ‘Sare Jahan Se Acchaa’ with Amitabh Bacchan’s baritone adding its own charm to the song, is a runaway hit. SCC has thrived on innovation and fusion of English, Hindi and choral music. They move seamlessly from one to the other. In recent times they have been invited to international designer watch launches such as Longines of Switzerland which celebrated their 180th year in business, at the Taj Palace Hotel New Delhi.

The SCC have a punishing schedule and traverse several cities and countries. They have just returned from Dubai to sing at the Gateway of India, Mumbai on Nov 25 and 26 in honour of the 26/11 victims of India’s worst terrorist attack. Here is a group that works hard, practices their trade with a discipline rarely seen, and yet have their feet firmly planted on the ground. They are an excellent example of how the North East can leverage its pool of talent without needing godfathers to pull strings for them. It has been an uphill task most times but they have stuck on and worked through the tough times. There is space for more such groups from the region to make a mark on the national and global map through their singing and musical talent.

Meghalaya Government announced 2012 as the year of the youth. Some plans have been outlined with special emphasis on skills training amongst others. Skills empower young people and make them employable. But skills alone will not help. Young people also need constant mentoring to build their self esteem and confidence so that they do not fall by the wayside. Groups like the SCC that have reached the pinnacles of success also require constant mentoring. SCC Director, Neil Nongkynrih who creates music so effortlessly has been a mentor for the choir members. This is an integral part of dealing with young people. They need leadership figures to look up to as they build their own leadership skills for the future. The Government of Meghalaya need to do more than capacitate youth with skills. Counseling should be made part of the skills training programme.

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