Y Magazine

Singing competition for migrant labourers in Oman ends

The first edition of Dil Ki Awaz, a musical talent hunt from among migrant workers in Oman concluded on Saturday night with a grand finale at the Qurum Amphitheatre.



Organised by Xpress Money, a money transfer brand, Dil Ki Awaaz’ or ‘voice of the heart’ is a first of its kind multi-lingual singing competition launched with the objective of looking for hidden singing talent from across labour camps in Oman.

Dil ki Awaaz grand finale presented a rare opportunity for many migrant labourers in Oman from diverse ethnic and geographic backgrounds to test their musical mettle adjudged by celebrity judges who were tasked to pick the winners from the tight competition.

Supported by Xpress Money’s CSR platform, H.O.P.E., the competition reached out to 45 labour camps connecting with 90,000 people over the last 2 months. The grand finale was conducted in the august presence of the Indian Ambassador to Oman, HE Indra Mani Pandey, HE Murad Ali Hooti from Majlis Al Shuraa Council, Sudhesh Giriyan, COO of Xpress Money and other dignitaries.

Talking about how this unique program was conceived, Ashwin Gedam, said, “Interacting with migrant workers over the years we realised they have limited avenues to socialize with people and even lesser ways to channelize their talents. Dil Ki Awaaz was therefore conceived as a platform of leisure, entertainment, and self-discovery for these migrant workers – something completely opposite to their everyday routine life. Dil Ki Awaaz gave them the opportunity to connect with people and encouraged them to showcase their talents, which is generally unnoticed or untapped.”

Ashwin Gedam further emphasized that Dil Ki Awaaz had a larger purpose – financial inclusion – which is one of the main objectives of H.O.P.E. “We are not just looking for hidden talent, we are also looking to offer livelihood options. When you deal in migrant remittances, beyond the money you also come into the sphere of hope, aspirations, and dreams. And Dil Ki Awaaz fits in perfectly there as Xpress Money has always been more than just money transfer.”

The winners were awarded prizes by the Indian Ambassador -first prize of RO 1,000 was bagged by Raju Rasila, first runner up who won a prize money of RO 750 was Rahul PK and second runner up was Santu Mondal who picked up RO 500. All the other 17 finalists were also awarded RO 50 each.

Xpress Money said Dil ki Awaz, roughly translated as `Voice of heart,’ was spread over two months starting from January 15 2018 across three phases. The initial round of selection process was done by inviting contestants to send their voice samples through WhatsApp, which was later followed by auditions and competitions at labour camps for the short listed.

Xpress Money also thanked the Muscat Kathiyawadi Parivar for their support to the success of the event and praised the contributions of Dipti Raval, Jayesh Raval and Jagdip Bhatia. The beverage partners for Dil Ki Awaz were Pran Foods and Muscat Pharmacy.