In the early 70s, New York City hustled with a new form of street dance called B-boying or what you may know as breakdance. Today, this dance style originally belonging to the Hip-Hop culture, has given a strong sense of identity to the underprivileged kids of India.
Tiny Drops India, a Hip-Hop community center was started by He Ra (Netarpal ‘Heera’ Singh) in Mumbai with a fervent motive of helping the underprivileged slum kids in channelizing their creative energy through social outlets such as Dance, Music, and Graffiti, that are deep-seated in Hip-Hop Culture. The community center functions as a benign space for these kids to rehearse, discover and remodel hip hop dance and culture.
From this platform, an extremely ardent crew has been formed from where have grown some excellent break dancers, rappers, graffiti artists who’ve come together as a clan, exploring and operating this way. They’re children with no families or background or the ones most likely to fall in the wrong hands. But Tiny Drops averts that misfortune and helps these 8-18 year olds in becoming conscious of their potential.
These children are exposed to resources such as video and music production equipment, instrument, literature and mentor-ship. They’re taught music, video, photography and other art forms as well. Heera, along with Akash Dhangar and others, started up a crew formed by these slum kids of Dharavi in Mumbai, the largest slum in Asia. After the movie, Slumdogs Millionaire, which stereotyped the slum life here, the crew was named SlumGods! The socio-economic conditions of where the dance started in Hip Hop culture are very similar to how these kids have been brought up. Now various crews have been formed and to see these guys in action is staggering and gives you the goose-bumps. The center has given them their own voice and identity. They’re able to express themselves through these mediums and prevents them from falling into awful addictions.
The Community Center expanded to Khirkee Village in New Delhi and they hold regular b-boying sessions in the city with endless local and international artist collaborations and workshops. It produces events such as Cypherholic BBoy Summit (with Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi)and has collaborated with Music Basti and the Indo German Hip Hop Project as partners. The crew has also been recognized in New York Times and The Guardian (UK) after they won two dance championships. Thanks to Tiny Drops, we have a speedy B-Boying community in the making.
Picture Credits: Akshat Nauriyal