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World Ch. Schedule : WED 09:05 KST

* Date : 2015-10-28

Song for You, Song for Me

Pune, a city located 200 km away from Mumbai, is the exemplary educational city of India. However, various areas of the city are slums not any different from garbage dumps, and the low castes live there, abandoned to worry about their survival each day. They are Dalits, the untouchables who are believed to bring misfortunes.

Despite the poverty and ignorance affecting the slums, changes started to appear after Kim Jae-chang, an opera singer, arrived in 2011. When he turned 50, he decided to come to India and spend his remaining life helping children become self-reliant. In order to accomplish his goal. he gathered a group of children from the slums and established Banana Children's Choir. Here, "Banana" does not refer to the fruit but to a Hindi word meaning "self-reliance."

However, the choir practice turns out to be a mess. The children constantly lie and skip lessons, but Kim Jae-chang stays committed to the choir as the leader. The biggest reason for the children's maladjustment is their lack of self-confidence. Some of these children were not even registered at birth because of their parents' ignorance.

Kim Jae-chang had to teach about self-love, consideration for others, gratitude and truth before teaching about singing. And eventually, the children started changing. Last winter, Banana Children's Choir went on a month-long tour through Korea, touching the hearts of countless people. The members returned to India more mature, and their parents also began to believe that their children could live different lives.

After arriving in India, Banana Children's Choir prepare for a special performance on January 26, the Republic Day of India. The stage is set in the slums where the children live. On that very stage, they perform to give to the neighbors what they found through music: hope.

For their entire lives, these children were treated with contempt for being the untouchables. Stories of dreams and hope they developed from Banana Children's Choir are told on August 24, on Arirang Prime.

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