With over 2,000 trees in Aarey Colony—often called Mumbai’s “green lung"—facing the axe to clear space for a metro car shed, events company 4/4 Experiences has tied up with environmental NGO Vanashakti to organize a fundraising event in the city. Called Awaaz Do, the concert will feature musical performances and talks by leading environmentalists, with the proceeds going towards Vanashakti’s legal efforts to stop unauthorized tree felling in the colony. The lineup includes Hindi folk-rockers Ankur & The Ghalat Family, socially conscious rap crew Swadesi, Avi from beatbox collective Voctronica, and popular folk-pop duo Maati Baani, who recently released Chipko Re, a track in support of the #SaveAareyForest campaign. Also performing is Adivasi activist Prakash Bhoir, who will be accompanied by a collective of musicians from the Aarey Colony. Speakers at the event include wildlife biologist Nikit Surve and Vanashakti director Stalin Dayanand.
“A civilization which doesn’t care for the air its children breathe is a civilization in peril," says Dayanand, who has been fighting to save Mumbai’s wetlands for almost a decade. “Aarey provides much of the quality of breathable air for the city of Mumbai. This cultural initiative will hopefully get people to be aware and involved in solving an urban problem that will affect their lives as much as the inhabitants of Aarey." 4/4 Experiences co-founder Nikhil Udupa says Awaaz Do is intended to be a cultural initiative that will collaborate with NGOs and social communities to address the urban problems that plague Mumbai. “The idea here is to go to the crowd with the issue rather than try and get them to the place where the problem exists. Going forward, we hope to tackle more urban issues pertaining to any city where Awaaz Do might be present," says Udupa.
Awaaz Do will take place on 31 January at the Flea Bazaar Café, Lower Parel. Tickets, priced ₹300, are available on Insider.in.