Theatre for all

Updated: Aug 19, 2019, 08:07 IST | Nasrin Modak Siddiqi

Taking theatre to lesser privileged young minds, Junoon intends to ignite their hearts to create a better world

Theatre for all
A staging of the play

The National Council Of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), in its preamble to the revised arts curriculum that covers fine art, dance, music and theatre for schools, states that children must be exposed to the best professional artistes in immersive experiential ways.

Theatre and arts organisation Junoon is working hard towards fulfilling this aim. Two years ago, they initiated an inclusive programme to enable children from less privileged backgrounds to experience theatre across the country. Realised with support from the Lal Jamal Fund and local partners in cities like Patna, Bikaner, Ludhiana, Pune, Nagpur, Mumbai, Delhi and Agra, it has reached 5,400 children across seven cities from over 20 different NGOs and government schools.

Kids with postcards on which they wrote a review of the play
Kids with postcards on which they wrote a review of the play

Junoon's co-founder Sanjna Kapoor says, "We believe that the arts, and theatre especially, must be an essential part of every child's growing years. It triggers the mind, heart, senses and empathy — this is something we wish to ignite in our young, building them into critical thinkers who seek to contribute to a more humane world. It has been a part of our mandate to ensure that at least 25 per cent of our work reaches the less privileged. So it was an obvious step that we take our programme for schoolchildren to children from NGOs or low-income and government schools. This we did in the form of professional productions performed for children across the country."

The performance that will be staged today by Rahi Theatre is Jhalkari — a historical tale of a young Dalit girl who defied her destiny and went on to become Rani Laxmibai's body double. She was also the commander of her women's army, Durga Sena. With the revolt of 1857 as a backdrop, the play captures the camaraderie and the struggles of the queen and her confidante, Jhalkari.

Swatantryaveer Savarkar Smarak Sabhagriha

These shows are for invited NGOs and low-income schools only. "Readers can get involved by either interning with us, or introducing us to organisations that work with children who are keen to give them this opportunity every year, or by funding more of these programmes," says Kapoor shares.

On Today, 11 am and 2 pm
At Swatantryaveer Savarkar Smarak Sabhagriha, Shivaji Park, besides Mayor's Bungalow, 252, SVS Road, Shivaji Park, Dadar West.
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