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Lee funds dance, music training centres to get Indian children out of 'dumps'

February 19, 2012 - Melbourne

Australian paceman Brett Lee has funded dance and music training centres for the welfare of Indian children, who earn their living by picking through the filth.

Lee, 35, has already opened five music centres through his foundation, Mewsic, and added that he wished there were 100 such schools throughout India.

"I want to help get the children out of the dumping grounds, the places we call dumps or tips in Australia, and to get them in an environment where they can sing, dance and learn to play music," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Lee, as saying.

"The centres hold between 75 to 100 children. They attend three times a week and are given food, water and the lessons. Hopefully, it will lead to education for them. We get them out of the dumping grounds into the music centre and hopefully it's school from there," he added.

Lee said he had been moved by the plight of the children who earned just two rupees per day by trawling through the rubbish for recyclable items that can be sold by their "employers".

"You can look at it a couple of ways. One is that these kids don't know any different, but I don't see that as a reason to not try and make a difference. I'm not OK with that. I want to help give them a life because I can see no reason why ... a child from the dumping grounds can't have a chance," Lee said.

"It transcends culture and class, and the healing qualities of music are great. It doesn't matter what you look like, where you come from, what you have or don't have, music is something that breaks down barriers," he added.


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