What does international pop star Ed Sheeran have in common with a group of 25 Dharavi boys? That they find music in everything. Tonight, 10 members of Dharavi Reloaded, a junk percussion band, and the Shape of you hitmaker will be seen performing together in the latest episode of The Great Indian Kapil Show. What makes Dharavi Reloaded unique is that the band makes music using waste materials like drum barrels, oil cans, paint buckets, water bottles, and so on. 

Taping the episode with the four-time Grammy winner was a dream come true for the band as well as its founder-curator Abhijit Jejurikar. “It was a manifestation of our dreams. We call this ‘manifestED’. Performing on the show, which will stream across 192 countries, is one of our biggest achievements,” says Jejurikar. 

The idea behind Dharavi Reloaded was triggered in 2011, when Jejurikar moved to Mumbai and began working as a marketing professional. But the musician in him wanted more. “I wanted to give a platform to these slum kids and showcase their talent.” He then encouraged the kids of Dharavi, known as one of the largest recycling hubs, to use waste materials to make music. He had first written to Sheeran about the initiative in 2014. When the international icon performed in Mumbai in 2015, the band’s founder met him and requested a collaboration. During Sheeran’s India trip in March 2024, the pop star was more than happy to oblige. “Ed remembered our 2015 meeting and said, ‘I’m so excited to meet all the kids from your band.’ He also told the kids, ‘I think we are going to have fun during the performance.’” 

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