A unique talent hunt aimed at showcasing authentic tribal music, launched recently by the All India Radio (AIR), has received an “overwhelming” response with aspirants ranging from army jawans to housewives and even paanwallahs flooding the broadcaster with entries.
Officials said the public broadcaster launched a first- of-its-kind talent hunt “Adi Swar” for tribal music where the rules of entry were kept comparatively easy.
Participants, whether solo or in a group, particularly from the tribal communities, were asked to upload and mail an audio clipping or send an audio CD of their singing performances without any restrictions imposed on age, sex or economic status.
“The aim was to bring forward the latent talent and it seems to have done that in a big way,” an official said, adding, the duty room of the National Channel of AIR is abuzz with telephone calls from every nook and corner of the country.
“Two officers are manning the telephone lines round-the- clock to respond to queries pouring not only from the tribal belts but also from far-flung areas of Maharashtra,Â
Tripura and Nagaland,” an official said.
Citing an instance, the official added that an army jawan, who had won trophies during school days called up from Jammu to confirm the last date to submit the entries.
A housewife from Ranchi, who was initially apprehensive as she rarely got time to perform â€˜riyazâ€™ due to household chores, is now again focusing on her talent.
There were a number of requests from Imphal for extending the timeline for submission of entries due to indefinite curfew, the official said. A â€˜paanwallahâ€™ in Varanasi too called up the broadcaster to check whether he is eligible to render a solo for the competition.
The talent hunt has received enthusiastic response from members of tribal communities from states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Arunanchal Pradesh and Rajasthan among others, the official said.
“As the National Broadcaster of the country, AIR is organizing this contest as part of the mission of Prasar Bharati to promote tribalsâ€™ cultural heritage,” said Deputy Director General, National Channel, AIR, BD Mohanty.