Theatre for safety of women

Theatre for safety of women


Theatre for safety of women

Thanks to the recent string of gruesome incidents, women’s safety is on top of everyone’s mind. All conscientious individuals want to do their bit in making the public more gender-sensitive. For the same cause, The Lion Society for Art and Social Welfare – an NGO – recently staged a programme called Muskurahat. It comprised of a documentary film on women acid attack victims and a play on sexual assaults on women.

The society’s creative director Rajeev Sinha shares, “Drama is a very powerful medium. It can be used to communicate a variety of social messages. And keeping in mind the recent spate of attacks on women, we decided to highlight this evil through Muskurahat.”

The NGO first screened a film Jaagriti hates mirrors. Its writer and director Rajeev explained, “It’s the story of a young girl who is stalked by a man in her neighbourhood. When she refuses this man infatuated with her beauty, pours acid on her face. The victim Jaagriti then leads a prolonged struggle to come to terms with her physical condition and the taunts by people.”

A live example Sonali Mukherjee, who suffered this ordeal in Chhattisgarh and is still undergoing several reconstructive surgeries narrated her story of courage in the face of pain as well as presented awards to some young girls who were nominated by their schools for acts of bravery.

Then came the social satire Janta Darbaar. An area councillor holds an open public meeting. Three women come forth with complaints of rape, molestation and eve-teasing. The councillor calls for the accused persons. These men, when presented, say it’s the fault of their parents who didn’t teach them the right values. The parents, when summoned, say they can’t control their kids outside of home and the police should prevent such incidents.

When the cops are sent for, they say that the laws are not stringent enough to punish the culprits and it’s the lawmakers’ fault. With this, the councillor finds himself in the dock. “It’s an adaption of Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja, where it is finally proved that all of us are responsible for this social situation we are caught in,” says Rajeev.

Not surprisingly, many women were a part of the audience and some even cried during the screening of the film. A college student Stuti Ray said, “I wish more such programmes were held in the Capital. Nobody these days is afraid of authorities. Ultimately, such awareness programmes will change the society’s thinking.”