The COVID-19 lockdown has seen many turning into a chef or polishing a hobby which was ideally their hidden talent but for migrant worker Duleshwar Tandi, he had no option but to turn to music and express his community’s plight on walking back home for several miles. Adopting the pseudo name Rapper Dule Rocker, the 27-year-old has no jazzy stage to perform on yet his lyrics on the bitter truth of migrant workers in Odisha during the lockdown will hit you right in the feels. Also Read - Laal Singh Chaddha Shoot Resumes: Aamir Khan Heads to Turkey Post Lockdown, Check His New Look
Recording his rap at his damaged muddy home in Kalahandi district of Odisha, where he lives with his mother, Dule performs without the aide of any musical instrument yet his songs are making waves on social media platforms. In an interview with India Today, Dule shared, “As I saw news reports of the novel coronavirus cases growing in China, the US and European countries, I sensed, the situation may get worse here. After the state government announced the lockdown in major districts, I made up my mind and decided to come back.” Also Read - India's COVID-19 Recoveries Cross 15-Lakh Mark; 10 States Contribute More Than 80% of New Cases, Says Health Ministry
After completing his BSc degree in Chemistry from a government college in Kalahandi, Dule had had shifted to Raipur in 2013 where he worked as a waiter and even washed dishes and on some occasions, cleaned the tables. One day before the national lockdown, he returned to his village, Borda on March 23. Also Read - Coronavirus: Brazil Records 100,000 Deaths; Total Tally at 3 Million
However, seeing several thousands of migrant workers complete the journey on foot with their kids on their shoulders, Dule was moved to polish his early talent of rapping and penned Telling The Truth and Sun Sarkar, Sat Katha (Listen Government, True Fact). While the former song is his vent against the politicians whom he called thieves, the latter was released in May and is about how the pandemic and lockdown jolted migrant workers into distress.
Shooting to fame for his rap songs, Dule now has offers from Odia film Industry. Even Bollywood music composer Vishal Dadlani was smitten by him and offered to help while actors Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Swara Bhasker gave him shoutouts.
Speaking to the news agency about his video, he said, “In one video, I rapped about how the migrants had exhausted all their savings and lost everything in a matter of days after the factories and construction sites were closed due to the lockdown. They had to walk, some barefoot, with their kids on their back in summer. The leaders were only giving them sermons instead of helping them.”