Theatre fest to create awareness on child rights

Theatre fest to create awareness on child rights

Children rehearse for Ranga Kalothsava.

Padi, a Mangaluru-based NGO, has come up with a new idea of utilising the medium of theatre to sensitise people on children’s rights and their safety.

Padi, in association with Education Research Centre (ERC), has been conducting awareness programmes on child protection, child rights and the related laws, to empower schools on the effective implementation of child rights. Street plays, skits and activities are conducted in this regard.

‘Makkala Hakkugala Ranga Kalothsava’, a one-day theatre festival, is the recent experiment in a long series.

To mark the silver jubilee of Padi-VALORED (Value Oriented Education) project, the ERCs will organise the Ranga Kalothsava on children’s rights at Don Bosco Hall, Mangaluru, from 12 noon to 4 pm on September 1.

Children’s theatre groups of various schools will perform skits and dances to highlight the significance of children’s rights, Education Resource Centre, Bantwal, Coordinator Rajeshwari, told DH.

“The message on child protection will be conveyed in the form of storytelling. For instance, Children’s Gram Sabha has been depicted as a fair meant for children. Another performance depicts the dream school by a student,” she said. 

“Teams from Kundapur, Puttur, Karkala, Belthangady, Sullia and Bantwal, comprising students of government schools in the respective places, will present their shows based on child labour, child marriage and other issues. The concept and direction is by Gopal Anchan and Nada Maninalkur,” she said.

Rajeshwari added that the children have been independently voicing their aspirations and grievances in children’s Grama Sabha and child rights committee meetings.

Padi means share in Tulu. Padi-VALORED is all about creating awareness on value-oriented education, District Child Welfare Committee Chairman and Padi-VALORED Director Renni D’Souza said.

“Every child below 18 years has a right for evolution. A favourable atmosphere should be created towards a child-friendly society”, he

Padi NGO was established in 2004. The organisation, in coordination with ERCs, has been conducting awareness programmes on child rights and open house events to address children’s issues. A childline was set up in 2012. Since its inception, the childline has made around 3000 interventions.

He recalled saying he and Desmond D’Abrio, launched as a project VALORED for children that 25 years ago. In association with other NGOs, the ERC was set up in 1993, which was based on the concept of VALORED. Eventually, the ERCs were set up in various taluks as an effort to strengthen the School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMCs).

Child right activists, teachers (both working and retired), SDMC members, parents, members of youth associations and Gram Panchayats are part of the ERCs.