Thu, Mar 30, 2017 | updated 06:16 PM IST

Singing for a better future: Yuva Beats, the Afghan Refugee band

Updated: Aug 18, 2016 14:38 IST

By Vinamrata Takia

New Delhi, Aug.18 (ANI): Music has the power to heal and bring peace to people. In 2009, during a talent hunt contest organized by UNHCR and hosted by Don Bosco School, Afghan refugee band Yuva Beats participated and was spotted as having some potential talent. Since then, the band has never looked back and started its musical journey in Delhi.

It's been seven years since Yuva Beats established itself. At present, the band has five members and plays pop, rock, Afghani music, Bollywood, Sufi and some self-compositions. The band also uses traditional Afghani instruments like the Rubaab, Damboora, and Zerbaghali in their concerts. Band members cherish the fact that they can play their brand of music freely in India.

"People over here love music; they respect the artistes and their artistry. In Afghanistan too there are people who love and respect music, but they exist in a very less number. Most of the people in Afghanistan are in depression, so they don't see value in their own work, because of which they don't appreciate other people's efforts," said Hameed, the lead vocalist and composer of the band.

India is a home to about two lakh refugees, with the Afghans numbering approximately 10,000 out of the total refugee population. The pain of leaving their homeland and living in a foreign country is both traumatic and estranged.

Recollecting the time when he had to leave his homeland, Masih, the piano player of the band, said: "When I left Afghanistan and came here, I was feeling really bad. I felt very strange and thought that now I have to spend my life in a foreign country. But slowly things are getting better. Even now the situation is Afghanistan has not improved, it is as same as before. Life is very difficult in Afghanistan, especially for musicians."

Bollywood songs and movies are very popular in Afghanistan. Hameed remembers growing up listening to Hindi film songs and said he would love to make music for the Bollywood music industry, if given a chance. Music cannot be practiced in Afghanistan due to restrictions, but through their music the band members want to generate hope and peace in India.

The band survives on shows and concerts. They also play at Afghani weddings and parties.

The members are hoping for a better and peaceful Afghanistan.

"Even if our country matches the level of India in terms of development and peace then it will be great. Because we are spending our lives peacefully in India, and the Indian people have a positive attitude towards us," said Hameed. (ANI)

Jammu and Kashmir [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Taking a small step towards eradicating corruption in the state machinery, the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti led coalition government of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday initiated an enquiry against Ishtiaq Hussain Drabu, Managing Director of Jammu and Kashmir Handicrafts Corporation, under the civil services rules, 1956.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.30 (ANI): Participating in a seminar on Central Asia post the Cold War, Kazakhstan's Ambassador Bulat Sarsenbayev drew particular attention to Kazakhstan's domestic and foreign policies as well as its political, economic and cultural achievements.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Telangana Police has confirmed the arrest of seven persons in connection with a dacoity.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Patiala House Court Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sumit Dass on Thursday asked nine students to appear before the court and record their consent or refusal to undergo lie detector tests in connection with the Najeeb Ahmed missing case.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on banning off liquor vends on state and national highways.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Expressing displeasure over being ill-treated at the airport for sharing the same surname as that of Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Sunil Gaikwad on Thursday dubbed it as harassment and questioned if it was a crime to have Gaikwad as his last name.

Full Story >>

Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Hriday Narayan Dikshit took charge as the Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 30 (ANI): Controversial Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mukhtar Ansari on Thursday accused Union Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Manoj Sinha for conspiring his murder.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar.30 (ANI): Union Minister Of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman told Shimla Member Parliament Virender Kashyap that a Committee of Secretaries under the Chairmanship of NITI Aayog has been constituted for formulating new industrial policy for hill states like Himachal Pradesh , Uttrakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

Full Story >>

Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], Mar.30 (ANI): The Civil Aviation Training College (CATC) in Allahabad is gearing up to host the finale of Smart India Hackathon 2017 on April 1 and 2.

Full Story >>

Mahoba (Uttar Pradesh), Mar. 30 (ANI): Uttar Pradesh Health Minsiter Siddharth Nath Singh on Thursday said that if there is any conspiracy behind the derailment of the Delhi bound Jabalpur-Mahakaushal Express, the state government would order an investigation into it.

Full Story >>

Shiv Sena dubs Air India 'mafia goons'

Updated: Mar 30, 2017 17:15 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Backing party MP Ravindra Gaikwad following his dispute with an Air India employee, the Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Thursday dubbed the national carrier a 'mafia goon' over their decision to ban Gaikwad.

Full Story >>

Regional connectivity flight set to take wings

Updated: Mar 30, 2017 17:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar.30 (ANI): The Airports Authority of India (AAI),the implementing agency, will issue Letter of Awards for 27 proposals received under RCS-UDAN. Key features of the proposals awarded by AAI include:

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra), Mar. 30 (ANI): Maharashtra Parliamentary Affairs Minister Girish Bapat on Thursday warned Hospitals and stent suppliers that non-bailable cases would be registered against them if they were found to be overcharging patients.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday referred the triple talaq issue to a Constitution bench, which will hear the matter on May 11.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha on Thursday said the government will provide Rs. 2.05 billion as financial support to boost airline travel between smaller cities.

Full Story >>

Thane (Mumbai), Mar. 30 (ANI): Mumbai Civil Hospital doctors on Thursday staged a protest in Thane against attacks two doctors yesterday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar 30 (ANI): A Delhi Court on Thursday expressed displeasure over absence of sedition charges in the Action Taken Report (ATR) filed by the Delhi Police in the Ramjas College incident.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): While condemning the recent incidents of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Dr. Jitendra Singh on Thursday accused the separatists for instigating the youth in the Valley.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 30 (ANI): Following the crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh, the Aligarh Muslim University's students union has written to the vice chancellor complaining meat going missing from the mess menu.

Full Story >>