Metrolife: Actor gives away cash prize for rural hygiene

Metrolife: Actor gives away cash prize for rural hygiene

Prathyaksha performing a street play in front of villagers.

A true artist is one who is not inspired, but one who inspires others’ — this saying is true for 16-year-old Prathyaksha, who is leading the way in a field many shy away from.

The young theatre artiste, studying in 10th grade in Martin Luther School and living in Girinagar, gave away Rs 1 lakh for the construction of toilets in Dhanapur, Koppal district. It was her remuneration for acting in a movie.

Into theatre since the age of six, Prathyaksha has performed in more than 200 shows across the country. Recently, she acted in a Kannada movie, ‘Sandaas’.

The shooting took place in Koppal district for a period of 40 days. As days passed by. Prathyaksha became friendly with the villagers and started interacting with them. She noticed the poor toilet facilities in the village and heard about the problems faced by the girls due to this.

“I was speechless when I heard the reasons behind not having toilets. Most of the villagers felt there was no need of toilets as open spaces were enough,” she recalls.

When the shooting came to an end, the youngster decided to donate her remuneration towards construction of toilets in the village, a decision supported by her family. Not content with just this, she also performed street plays and gave out handbills to the people to create sanitary awareness among them. She dedicated her entire summer vacation holidays for this.

“I have zero regrets towards not spending my holidays like the other children of my age,” she says proudly.

Talking about the challenges she faced, she says, “Initially, people didn’t pay heed to what I was saying but later they opened up about the difficulties they faced even if they want to build a toilet for their family.”

“I thought the problem was just lack of knowledge but that was not the case. Some people didn’t even have a house and if they did, there was no space within their boundary to build a toilet. If a family had both, there was no money to build one.”

Prathyaksha felt that if she was successful in convincing the people to construct toilets, they would gradually move towards a way of general healthy living.

She has done solo street plays in Kanakapura, Harohalli, Saathnor, Dhanapur, Mandya and few other villages till date. She says, “There is a need to talk about this issue in every village. However, I am attached to the people of Koppal District. I will first want to spread awareness and bring a change there.”

“I just hope for better infrastructure and healthy living in the rural areas; everyone has a right to get these facilities,” says Prathyaksha.