Threads of Humanity is our community volunteer program. Using the arts, we train volunteers to facilitate interactions amongst young people from marginalised backgrounds. These workshops and interactions are often two-way processes of mutual learning for both parties involved. The focus of Threads of Humanity is empowerment and healing using arts and life skills. Through this programme, we have been working with various homes, including homes under the Juvenile Justice Board.
Yuva Ekta: Youth Unite is a theatre group formed in the summer each year through theatre workshops across schools, colleges and NGOs.
The mixed group of students works on theatre performances, scripted and directed as a team, on themes that cover socially relevant issues such as gender discrimination, child mortality, community responsibility, HIV Aids, Right to Information, Drug addiction and crime, Corruption and issues of alienation that youngsters across society experience everyday.
Facilitators are trained in theatre exercises and using these, as well as creative writing, visualisation, art and some really fun games, the group evolves together in confidence, expression and performance!
These plays are then performed at various venues to spread awareness about different issues that the plays cover and to interact with people using the play as a medium.
This is an age where words dissolve concrete, where sentences open doors, essays churn oceans, where speeches give life, where the youth and democracy meet on concrete steps, in street corners, in busy office rooms and bustling college cafeterias. This an age where hands are raised and answers demanded, and it is with an intention of fueling this age that the Tehelka Foundation initiated “Democracy Dialogues”.
The Democracy Dialogues initiative seeks to provide a forum for youth to explore and engage with some of the challenges facing the Indian democratic experience.
We will focus our work in spaces where young people have felt compelled to respond with violent action. Through our web pages and events, we wish to present to an opportunity to have your voice heard, to be a part of change and paint your stroke in the big picture. From corrupt government halls to terrorism to LGBT rights, the discussion is yours to wield and the words are yours use.
BEING HUMAN are a series of workshops through which young people could discover and express self determining issues like Qualities and core Values that define a HUMAN, Responses of a human in situations of conflict, discrimination, violence and Solutions to the greed and hatred so prevalent in the world today.
The expression could take the forms of different mediums – writing, painting, music, dance, drama, debates so that a buzz is started amongst the young as to who a human Being truly is, and what would be the parameters of success he would base his life on? Does it have to be a competitive “dog-eat-dog” scenario where Might is Right? Is a good bank balance THE answer to a Human’s sense of Well Being? What are the ingredients for a life full of joy and peace?
Most importantly, who am I? Is my operating energy Love or Fear? Do I give myself the Respect that I seek outside? What defines my Self Worth? WHO IS MY SELF?
The intent is to make young people pause, reflect upon their essential Being and construct a new paradigm of success by which they can co-exist peacefully with all fellow humans.
We performed our Yuva Ekta play for this year, “Garv hai – Mai Aurat hoon” at Springdales school, Pusa Road and New Era School Mayapuri on the 19th of August.
Starting on a chaotic, rainy Monday morning on Pusa Road, we performed with a much smaller group this time owing to exam time in a few schools, but with double the energy.
We performed in front of a whole batch of 11th graders , who responded really well to the performance, and also added some interesting insight to what we could add. One of the students asked us why we hadn’t incorporated something on homosexuality of we were dealing with gender issues, to which we promised we would work on something. This went beyond our assumption that homosexuality would be too intense a topic for school students to comprehend.
After Springdales, we went to New Era school in Mayapuri, where we met a completely different bunch of 11th graders. While the play was received well, we felt the students were slightly inhibited in the beginning about speaking up, but with time, we had some very intriguing questions. One boy asked us if one should get involved in something that isn’t really their problem, and in turn get into trouble for it. While we scrambled to articulate politely that everything eventually is our business, one of the students very emphatically responded that one can’t not fight out of the fear of getting attacked, you fight if you have courage. Some of the girls also asked us what they should do if someone is letching at them, while some others asked us if raising a voice isn’t just a way to give them license to do something worse. We had an hour long interactive discussion with the students and we were very satisfied with the response the play had sparked off in the students.
We hope to be able to perform the play at many more schools as soon as exam season subsides. If you want us to perform at your school, leave us a comment and we shall get back!