Yerwada jail pathak plays drums at Guruji Talim Ganesh Mandal

Np News 24 Mumbai: Thirty inmates of Pune’s Yerawada Central Jail on Monday played traditional percussion instruments during a procession in Pune as Monday marked the beginning of the 10-day Ganesh Festival.
The vibrant and colourful festival is celebrated with zeal across the State. The inmates played dhol (drum) and tasha (a type of kettle drum) for Guruji Talim Ganesh Mandal on Laxmi Road
The name of their troupe is ‘Yerwada Open Jail Dhol Pathak’.

Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) Sunil Ramanand approached a local troupe ‘Nadbrahma’ to train the inmates.  “I think for the first time we are doing something like this where 30 prisoners are coming on to the streets with their dhol-tasha and performing before thousands of people. This is going to be a permanent troupe and we intend to have them play next year as well,” Ramanand said.

“They trained for two hours every day for the past three months,” the ADG added. The experiment has made Guruji Talim Mandal happy as the group is known in Pune for fusing its religious fervour with a host of social issues to ensure society is better off for it.

We are known for undertaking social work from various areas. This activity will help the prisoners get back into the mainstream of society after release from jail,” said Pratap Pardeshi, head of Guruji Talim Mandal.

Atul Behre, chief of Nadbrahma, said the effort to train the inmates was exhausting but the results made it worthwhile.

“It came as a challenge for us because it needs good and regular training to play dhol and tasha. It is exhausting and requires full attention as various compositions are played on the instruments,” Behre said.

“We were teaching them basics of dhol and tasha, its similarities and differences as well as creation of various compositions to be played for the people. They played very well,” he added with satisfaction.

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