Beggars to Sing ‘Alleluia’ of Swach Bharat


New Delhi: In a unique move, the bedraggled beggars on train will now chant out songs in praise of ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’ instead of the usual bhajanas and time-worn Bollywood numbers.

The government is considering a proposal to rope them in for publicising initiatives like 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan', 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' and 'Jan Dhan Yojana'.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry, official sources said, is planning a massive rural outreach programme through its Song and Drama Division, which in collaboration with the All India Radio (AIR), would implement the programme where troupes would sing songs creating awareness about government initiatives.

Lyrics of some of the songs which would be sung are being finalised and registered troupes would be pressed into service to take the message to the farthest corners.

As part of this initiative, the ministry is considering involving "beggars who sing for a living".

"There are people who sing for a living like in trains. Though the Song and Drama Division in the ministry uses registered troupes, we are also considering involving them in this exercise. The proposal is being considered at an idea stage. We may also seek the help of the skill development ministry in this regard," a senior official said.

The official added that the ministry would also chalk out details related to remuneration and all other aspects.

"The idea is to ensure that the message of the government percolates to the maximum possible level and we are considering using such street singers so that no one is left out. While the government's programmes are publicised on conventional media, there may be other areas too," sources said.

To ensure that the message reaches the rural masses, troupes registered with Song and Drama Division would travel across hinterland humming these tunes.

With this high-pitch campaign also involving the penniless local bard, will the government's social sector initiatives go abegging?