Summer Theatre WorkshopsOctober 17, 2017
Khursheed ran away from a broken family when he was 7. After reaching Delhi he lived a life on the streets before being rescued by the Salaam Balak Trust. With Salaam Balak he gets a roof to live and an opportunity to complete his education. He develops an avid interest in theatre and gets associated with our Theatre for Change Program at the age of 13. Since then, he’s gone places. Working currently with the Salaam City-walk Project, he works as a tour guide, taking tourists on a never-before seen side of Old Delhi. He also works with street children using the arts. Khursheed has partnered with us as an actor in street plays and two International Theatre Festivals, The Tin Forest Theatre Festival in 2014 and most recently, the Home/Away Festival in 2016.
The Yuva Ekta Summer Theatre workshops were started a decade ago with a need to inspire students to engage with social issues beyond their textbooks. Working with a host school, we invite senior school students from private schools and NGOs in Delhi to participate in a month long Expressive Arts Program.
Each year, we work with a theme that has captured the imagination of the citizenry. Over the last 10 years, we’ve worked with issues like HIV/Aids Awareness, Child Rights, Women’s Rights, Malnutrition, Community Responsibility etc. The workshops become active participation forums, bringing together a wholesome social experience for the participants. Art workshops with Master Practitioners, periodic field trips and community interventions inculcate values of pro-active citizenship.
15-20 sessions are culminated into an interactive theatre performance inspired from Augusto Boal’s principles of ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’. This performance is then taken to public venues and schools in Delhi, where the Yuva Ekta participants conduct open ended discussions with the audience. Performances are designed in such a way that they evoke responses for everyone, including the participants to answer.
In a month-and-a-half, the group is empowered to represent the organisation and the cause they’ve been diligently working towards. The issue/topic/cause becomes a unifying factor that is able to dissolve boundaries like class, region and gender, justifying the group’s idiom: “Yuva Ekta, Youth Unite”, said as a chorus at the closure of all performances.
Our workshop model from this project is applied to most of our current working programs, allowing us to bring together a diversity of experiences onto a single platform. Bluebells School, Modern School (Barkhamba Road) and Salaam Balak Trust (Tis Hazari) have been gracious hosts for these workshops over the years. Other Schools from Delhi including Gyan Bharti School, St. Mary’s School and Vasant Valley School have had active participation as well.
Through these workshops, we’ve created a network base of active volunteers who continue to give their time and energy to the Foundation.