The Daily Star
Reporter: Sadi Mohammad Shahnewaz
12:00 AM, September 30, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 30, 2018
This time, it wasn’t about the hard-hitting riffs or the groovy bass lines. It wasn’t about the dynamic performances, or the amalgamation of the best bands of the country. BAMBA’s (Bangladesh Musical Bands Association) Concert for Autism Awareness on Friday was about Shushmi, Shupto and Safwan – differently abled children who lived their dream and sang their hearts out alongside their musical heroes on stage. It was about creating awareness about the fact that people with autism are not disabled; they are perfectly capable individuals with much to contribute to the society, given the opportunity.
While there were concerns about the turnout before the beginning of the concert, people swarmed to Bangladesh Army Stadium as soon as the music started, and were treated to a wholesome experience. 12 bands: Dreek, Feedback, Powersurge, Dalchhut, Vikings, Shironamhin, Nemesis, Miles, Warfaze, Maqsood O’ Dhaka, Souls and Arbovirus lit up the stage while 11 tigers roared in their Asia Cup Final battle against India. The match was screened during the performances, which made for a unique experience for the crowd. “Everyone who is present here is a part of this cause. I am glad that we have been able to pull off this concert,” said Hamin Ahmed, the president of BAMBA. All the bands put forth their most diligent tributes to the neglected members of the society. They never let the enthusiastic crowd forget, for one second, the true cause of the concert. Rashed Khan Menon, Minister of Social Welfare, conveyed his good wishes to the organisers and the audience. The ministry, along with PFDA – Vocational Training Centre were the prime supporters of the concert organised by Skytracker. A heartwarming message was sent via text by the Prime Minister’s daughter, Saima Wazed Putul, who has been passionately working for the welfare of autistic individuals for more than a decade. The Minister of Cultural Affairs, Asaduzzaman Noor was also present.
One of the most spectacular scenes of the night took place when Shupto, a child with autism, was invited by Miles to sing their blockbuster Chad Tara Shurjo on stage. When he started singing, the crowd’s claps of encouragement soon turned into emotional applauds of respect, for he had entertained the audience as well as Miles would. Shushmi, who shared the stage with Feedback and Safwat, who sang alongside Dalchhut, also earned the crowd’s adoration. All of the differently abled children who were there at the concert presented a delightful chorus of Gari Chole Na, much to the amazement of the audience.
BAMBA’s concert for autism was not just successful, but special in every sense of the word. The premiere organisation of musicians promised that there would be more similar initiatives from their side, for the betterment of the society. The Daily Star was the media partner for the event.