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Harvard Business School prof’s song with a cause

Connecting his research with his passion for music, Prithwiraj Choudhury, a Calcutta-born Bengali professor of economics at the Harvard Business School, has created a music video that tells the real-life story of a young tea-seller with cricketing skills.

“The video features Surojit and tells his life story of fighting poverty every day. He lives in a slum very close to my home in Bosepukur. What caught my attention was how his father, who is a bus driver, was supporting his expensive cricket coaching camps at Vivekananda Park. We supported some of his current expenses as part of the production budget of this project. Surojit’s big dream is to play for India someday and I am planning to conduct a fund-raising campaign during my future concerts in North America to raise funds for his coaching expenses and the cause in general,” explains Prithwiraj.

The visuals for the song titled Main Bharat. Main Bhi India was shot during his brief visit to Calcutta last month as he narrates the boy’s story through a song and visuals across the flower markets, riversides and the popular city landmarks.

The music video’s release on YouTube on January 23 was followed with special screenings at IIM Bangalore and IIT Kharagpur. “The larger aspiration behind the music video is to create a community of student volunteers across India who will mentor poor students. I will then try and support their projects mostly by connecting them with people in the US who have technical or managerial expertise and are willing to help these student volunteers,” says Prithwiraj.

To know more you could look them up on the Facebook page Main Bharat. Main Bhi India where 140 students from various Indian colleges including KIIT, ISM, IIT have already signed up. “I have also made a call for ideas and so far there are two. First, to sustain a weekend tuition programme for poor children where simple chemistry experiments are conducted at the start to draw their attention and develop their interest in science. The second idea is to develop a device that simulates daylight for children who do not have any access to daylight in their homes. Such a device would help them study longer at night and even during the day at a lower cost. Once we receive a fair number of ideas, we will screen the ideas and support a few of them,” says Prithwiraj.