Tag Archives: Yuva ekta

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1


Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1

The Yuva Ekta Theatre group leaves in three weeks for Glasgow, to perform at the Tin Forest International Theatre Festival alongside youth theatre groups from Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Bangladesh and Scotland!

The group is very excited to perform their play “Shoonya se Shikhar” on the 8th at the ICCR auditorium, New Delhi. Entry by invites (please mail us on subhadra@yuvaektafoundation.org for your invite)

This would have never been possible without the help of our generous donors and supporters. We’d like to thank each one of you for the unconditional support you have given us and for making the dreams of many young performers come true!

Special thanks to Confederation of Indian Industry and British Council and Creative Scotland for being our partners, Indian Council for Cultural Relations for the performance venue, Teamwork Arts for helping us with rehearsal space, Air India for giving us discounted tickets, Indiegogo for the assistance with crowd funding and to the following people for contributing and making this happen!

Saville and Company
Nagode International Private Limited
Sanjeev Gupta
Ritu Kumar
Amar Raj Singh
Vijay Tankha
Renuka Mahajan
Ms Latha Sudhir
Rupika Chawla
Dr Atul Srivastav
Dr Rajeev Kumar
Dr Leena Dadhwal
Bharti Rawal
Dr Nupur
Rahul Sen
Sriya Mohanti
Cecil Qadir
Ritu Mishra Sud
Karan Sehgal
Urvashi Singh


Commissioned Image Taken By Eamonn McGoldrick Photographer

Yuva Ekta at the Tin Forest Festival

dance SONY DSC

The Yuva Ekta Foundation has been invited to represent India at the Tin Forest festival, along with youth groups from other Commonwealth countries.
A total of 15 members will travel to Glasgow and stay there from 20th – 29th July, for which the National Theatre will support part of the costs involved.  We are crowdfunding to fund transport, per diems for the performing group- which is a mixed group of actors from marginalized and privileged backgrounds- and to cover production costs- mainly costumes, props, set and sound design.


In 2014 Glasgow will host the XX Commonwealth Games. The National Theatre of Scotland, in association with Scottish Youth Theatre is programming an exciting calendar of cultural events in the city’s venues, streets, parks and found spaces, culminating in a festival of theatre, music, art and dance during the Games.

The Tin Forest tells the tale of an old man who lived “near nowhere and close to forgotten.” He sifts and sorts other people’s rubbish until he builds a tin forest. Soon real animals and flowers appear until his forest becomes “filled with all the things that everyone wanted.”

Young theatre‐makers from all over the Commonwealth have been invited to fill the stages and spaces within the Tin Forest and across Glasgow. Each group is to create a piece of theatre inspired by the statement “From nowhere to somewhere”, in as creative a way as possible.



Yuva Ekta Workshops in BOSCO, Assam

It all began on a not so over cast day. Sun was bright, sky, slightly unclear. The morning had risen early and so had my hopes. An eager batch of masters in social work,ready to take on the world with their new endeavours, cherishing theatre and meeting each other for the first time had been left to our beckoning. It was for them a mini orientation and for us a new experience.

We began by stating our intent and they began by stating theirs. From the very beginning I knew I was meeting a bunch of passionate enthusiasts who wanted to do something for the people around them.

The starting session saw us playing the evergreen name game along with the slightly upbeat introductions. One had to get them out of their comfort zones and introduce them to the means of theatre as used in communication, art therapy, community building and their course. One had to begin by explaining the complicated sense of a cultural identity that formed the backdrop of a majority of our work. The work on body and voice was simultaneous.

At the end of the day we left them with a thought provoking exercise that made them think about certain issues, they, as individuals have been a part of.

I knew more or less by the second day people had opened up and we needed to start working on the play structure. It wasn’t easy. People were still deciding upon their scenes, getting their ideas sorted and struggling to find their feet and perfect endings. Amidst all this we thought we had to stretch the limit.

The time was short and the amount of work that we had to do was humongous. We made sure that everyone was constantly in the groove by working largely on body movements and stamina building. Our work on body, breath and voice was crucial to say the least.

We were getting into a mode where we had the play ready in parts. Our night session with the students post dinner came in handy as we found time to work with them and get our ideas across. We weren’t disappointed. By the end of fourth day our scenes were ready and roughly we had achieved our aim of creating an overall structure. Yes, the students were tired and exhausted. Yes they were over worked.

But they were also having fun with this workaholic schedule! We had to be a little strict at times but it all seemed worthwhile. We weren’t two facilitators taking workshops. We were friends who played truth and dare, who spoke at length about our lives, problems and issues. But t during the workshop the distinction between us and them was clear to everyone. It was work when it was time for work.By the night session at fourth day we have a draft, a script and scenes in order and our schedule as planned.

The next step was obvious, rehearse till your body gives up. On our practical route to doing that we did break barriers of health and legs for a couple to get them into the “street play position” as we like to call it. Another night session saw the return of one of our fallen heroes ready to take his throne back after a morning full of ill health! Nida and I had to recuperate from seemingly minor illnesses, and the daily dose of Assamese Tea kept both of us going.

As the sixth day draws to a close I write this with my heartfelt gratitude to the group I have been a part of. They have worked and worked and the result of that was a performance in ICARD institute located within the campus. The performance was equally appreciated as well as criticized. We took a lot of lessons from that. Needless to say, voice work and movement have been a part of our daily one hour starting routine. And after listening to the audience response many actors learnt the need for it.

This journal should today be happy. As am I. Waking up from a bus ride to Guwahati I realise I won’t be meeting the same kids, same people, same place or same anything. It is a void difficult to fill. For reasons more than one, this experience will be in TRUE sense of the word, unforgettable.

Yesterday was a remarkable day in the life of the workshop. We performed our hearts out on occasions more than one. Twice at the Don Bosco school. Even though the first time was slightly disorganized, none of the students lost heart. They gave it all they had. Seeing the inspired lot, Father Jerry gave us a chance to perform again in front of classes tenth and twelfth. This time our performance was well heard.

In a little audience interaction a girl came up and expressed the horrific nature of the accident of birth and expressed her desire to work to bridge the gap between the privileged and the under privileged youth, a mandate of the Tehelka Foundation’s YUVA EKTA group. After a rather tiring morning, everyone was up for one final performance in the streets of Lichubari. A long rest at the institution was followed by a remarkable culmination in the streets. The rising young lot did eventually justify the hard work they had put in. People seemed enthralled and some called it even better than last year!

But was it the performance that Nida and I went for? Probably. It was a part of our reason for going. But what formed the core of our larger intent was something Father Jerry mentioned in our feedback session. Theatre is and always will remain about exploration and expression, confidence and communication to bring out your inhibitions and state your intent. For this new batch of social workers where would theatre take them? I would say, a long way. The use of theatre as a tool in the development sector is hardly unmentionable. But this journey for most of them was about self exploration and expression. The feedback session was befitting to say the least. The reception of love was heartwarming and something that can’t be expressed in words. This experience personally has opened my horizons to the world of theatre and I would have regretted not being a part of this. I want this more. More…

For someone whose certain voids can never be fulfilled, I can empathize today saying that this is one experience that can be filled or fulfilled by none. The Bosco Institute left me a different person and I come back to the modalities of normal life, wanting to go back into that zone again. My room, my food and my tea, have all acquired a different meaning. I just wish that as the sun will set and the day will decline, the stars in everyone hearts’ will continue to shine. I just wish that everyone would feel this amazing grace, a thought that everyone will happily embrace.

(Rijul Kataria is pursuing his Masters in Sociology from JNU. He was one of the facilitators who conducted theater workshops at Bosco Institute, Jorhat, Assam in august 2013)


Yuva Ekta 2011- Danik’s Volunteer Diary

A year has passed by since the first time I bonded with various people from amazingly differing horizons. Having so many people who are brimming with ideas in one room just makes me go, “Whoa”! I find myself sitting in that same room with gazillions of thoughts that have already taken shape and those which are just ready to burst out.

Vaguely enough, I find myself not on time almost every day.  Yet, my un-punctual character is greeted with smiles that peep through to show delight in its full glory. Else, I’m made to do push-ups that just get me even more pumping for the 3 hours that we spend together. The same (or some other ritual) is inflicted on anyone who’s late. Yet, it ends up making that very person sense things with a whole new dimension and a colorful perspective.

So lost in the midst of wonderful people, I find it hard to keep track of my experiences in their chronological order. Each moment is so exciting and stimulating that one gets lost in it like a man would in a universe filled with shiny stars. And then there are those extra special moments when an otherwise quiet person bursts out with joy on experiencing their new found treasure.

Some do get “tired” in the warm up sessions, but all of that fades away once we start cracking jokes at each other and begin our day. From loud “HA’s” to mind numbing physical exercises, we begin with little bodily and mental modifications every morning. These prep us for the whacky activities that hit us out of the blue. These are followed by more exercises targeted towards new muscles that we discover everyday (some are found inside my highly bald head as well). Sometimes it seems as if flexing my goatee muscles would be easier. Then we “break” off for a sip and a bite and wander around to reboot our complex personal utilities.

Me yelling “GOLA BANAO!” is a common site. After each one of us is back in the “gola”, we break off into groups trying to make tiny scenes of everyday life by pooling in our ideas. Ah! It would’ve been so tranquil if it were that simple! Numbers, losses of consonants, strange situations are only the beginning. Making us think harder, some awesomely beautiful ideas crawl out of nowhere. To state a few, we did sing “Ek, Do, Teen! Char, Paanch, Chey, Saath, Aath, Naw, Dus, Gyara! Bara, Tera!” in a disco scene, and then we broke out in thunderous laughter trying to articulate sentences without their consonants, like “U O-Ot U-Ar Oh!”

Always stumbling upon new ways to entertain each other, we end up learning bucket loads of new things. Three hours fly by as if it were only a minute, a room with tons of commotion falls silent within that minute and “chappals” keep disappearing and turning up at weird places (pranks carefully planned out by a mastermind who is still on the run). And then the long wait for a new day begins…

Danik Ghosh aka Boomba is a Bluebells School International graduate, who was part of the Yuva Ekta Workshops in Summer, 2011

Yuva Ekta Facilitators

yuvaWe would like to thank our Yuva Ekta facilitators this year for being the dynamic, energetic and talented group that they are!

Rijul, Shashank, Lalit and Gauri are ex Yuva Ekta participants who now co-facilitate the summer workshops.

Rijul was also sent to Bosco Institute, Jorhat, Assam, where he conducted theatre workshops for 36 MSW students.

We are grateful for their constant support through the years and hope to build a richer network of volunteers in the future through our workshops!

YUVA EKTA – School Outreach

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!