The Yuva Ekta Foundation has been associated with the Kahaani Festival in various capacities for the past few editions – as Artists, Line Producers as well as Programming Consultants.
The Kahaani Festival’s second edition for this year was recently held at the Jayshree Periwal International School, Jaipur on 5th & 6th December. This time we participated as Artists and had a wonderful interaction with children of different age groups through both our performances.
‘Stars in his Eyes’ is a simple story for 4-8 year olds, about a poor orphan ‘Moti’ whose village is destroyed in a Flood. Displaced and ignored by all, kind and gentle Moti finds solace in the stars, and forms strong connections with many of them, the brightest being Naintara.. He also longs to be befriended by one of the smart school children he sees everyday, who walk past him without a second glance! Eventually it is his friendship with Naintara that saves this small town from a disastrous flood and Moti emerges a Hero.
‘Stars in his Eyes’ also works as a parable intended to sensitize privileged young children towards their less fortunate peers, as well as re-connect them with the infinite wisdom of Nature.
We also performed a Paper Puppet performance titled ‘Survival’ which narrates the story of a poor Dalit family struggling to find food and survive the exploitation they have suffered at the hands of Rich farmers. Even the Rats seem to have a better life!
Targeted at 11 year olds and above, ‘Survival’ captures one night in the lives of the landless labourer Raju, his wife Matia and son Sonu. Just as they discover some grain in a rat hole, they realise the hole is also home to a poisonous snake, who has found warmth in this hole. Is Raju desperate enough to dare death and take on the snake? Can the snake be pushed away from his refuge? Who wins in this clash of Wills?
A gripping story told through the magic of Paper Puppets, our 12- minute performance was followed by a workshop where the participants were given cut-outs of various characters and as groups, they created short stories that were performed for everyone. Some of these performances dealt with issues like Bullying in school and Gender Bias in Sports.