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When music unites

Muzzgachem Fest, a festival on inclusion and accessibility curated by Marius Fernandes and coordinated by Prakash Kamat in association with the National Association of the Blind (NAB) will be held on February 2 at Santa Cruz. NT BUZZ finds out more

ANNOUSHKA FERNANDES | NT BUZZ

With an aim of making the general public aware of how the specially-abled community should be treated and enable more interaction with them, Muzzgachem Fest, a festival on inclusion and accessibility will be held on February 2 at the National Association of the Blind (NAB) premises in Santa Cruz.

The festival has been curated by Marius Fernandes and coordinated by Prakash Kamat in association with NAB.

“Specially-abled people don’t need empathy or sympathy they need education, they need disabled-friendly infrastructure, they need training, they need skills, they need a level playing field and they need opportunities and they will deliver. To showcase their talent and sensitise people the idea for this fest was born,” adds Kamat, who believes that the concept of inclusion is still missing in our society. “Unless there is someone in the family who is specially-abled no much attention is given to these people. And the specially-abled should be brought into mainstream society,” says Kamat. And it is only when people come and witness the work that these disabled people can do, that they will understand, feels
Kamat.

Fernandes meanwhile is noted for curating various festivals like the Patolleanchem Fest, Ghumtacho Fest, Ramponkaranchem Fest, Kajuchem Fest, etc, in different villages. And the idea for holding such festivals, he says, was born, about 20 years ago after he understood how festivals worked in Goa. “People from different parts of the society were not included in festivals. These festivals were controlled by politicians, money, and sponsors so I came up with the idea of something where we, the general public would be in control of,” says Fernandes. “These festivals don’t look at the colour of your skin or your religion. Everybody can come and volunteer.”

The Muzzgachem Fest came about, he says, on the request of a friend who belonged to the differently-abled community. “Now is a right time to do this fest. When we found out the history of St Cruz and Merces, we discovered music was their passion,” says Fernandes. Thus the festival was named Muzzgachem Fest and is a celebration of music featuring various Goan musical talents, old and new.

The festival will begin at 11 a.m. from Holy Cross Church, St Cruz, with the ‘Muzzgachi Pasoi ‘ (Musical Heritage Walk) conducted by historian Sanjeev Sardesai. He will be accompanied by musicians and will take people on a trail through five historic landmarks of the village. “In this way, we will have music, history and culture,” says
Fernandes.

This will be followed by performances by talented artists from all over Goa at NAB and will witness the visually impaired students at NAB also showcasing their talent.

The festival will primarily feature Goan Konkani music as its main theme with a special focus on the ghumot. “Goa has a tremendous music culture. And the world class instrument, the ghumot, is perhaps the only music instrument in the world made of mud. But we still do not love or know more enough about our instrument, preferring the saxophone and trumpet over it,” says Fernandes. Besides the ghumot, kotti (a musical instrument made using coconut shells) and ghummotacho naaz (fusion of instruments) will also be played along with the Goan cultural dances of kunbi and fugdi dance.

“It’ll be multicultural fest. Hindus, Catholics, Muslims and everyone else will be coming and performing at this festival,” adds Fernandes.

In fact, one will not see the use of any electrical instruments at the festival, which will have no chief guest, no competitions, no prizes and no money involved.

The festival will also see the unity of the St Cruz villagers as they have volunteered to be a part of the festival through NAB’s efforts of getting them involved.

The NAB premises in St Cruz was chosen as the venue for the festival to make sure that people visit the place and interact with the differently-abled people and learn more about them.

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