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Awareness through Cultural Campaigns

Spreading of awareness about people’s issues, struggle and development through performances.The cultural campaigns are designed to address the key social issues in a most interesting and entertaining way. Even the sensitive of the serious issues are tackled through this creative approach.

With around 600 performances every year, 100 of them based on social issues, 150 HIV/AIDs-related, and around 350 on spreading awareness about various sectors, RDT’s full-fledged cultural productions have made their impact in altering attitudes, disseminating information about the issues faced in RDT’s other sectors and are making news.

After establishing the power of cultural expression, RDT channelizes it to deliver thought provoking, heart touching and action-prompting performances to spread awareness about social issues faced locally and by nation at large. Trainers and staff members map out deliveries in terms of lyrics, music, dialogues and dance forms. Issues such as violence against women, ecological preservation, un-touchability, migration of labour are some under the broad umbrella.

June, the month of Ecology, saw a play called ‘Karthavyam’, talking about the importance of water and forest conservation enacted by teams and included cultural and ecology staff.’Gamyam’, a play on ‘violence against women and girls’ was enacted by women on Anti-Violence Day in October. In Srisailam region, a role play- ‘Vyamoham’ along with a Harikatha performance about AIDS/HIV, ‘Moham Daham’, were performed on the World AIDS Day.

“It's moving to see these children and performers participate with such brilliance and perfection. That too coming from not-so-welloff backgrounds, it's simply commendable.’’
Christina Ramon
Spanish visitor

The other days marked by performances are International Women’s Day and International day for PWDs. The role of creative performance is multi-fold:

  • It draws attention in a straightforward, and engaging manner towards issues
  • It galvanises and sensitizes the community over time to campaign against early marriages, dropping out of school, the spread of HIV/AIDS
  • It encourages people’s participation, management and leadership in all development programmes and resource mobilization. Thereby making them main actors in their own development
  • It has drawn women out into the performance space
  • It provides an avenue for personal growth.
  • Helps explore new media, like A.V. production and archiving through tapes, VCDs, etc.
  • Designed to preserve dying traditional art and dance forms, like Burrakatha, Harikatha, etc.
  • Breaking social barriers, changing mind-sets for a better, more inclusive society.

Often parents of RDT-trained children, reflecting their financial conditions, feel apprehensive about letting their child/children pursue higher education in the field of arts. Many performances, hence are aimed to bring-in a difference in their mind sets, and have yielded positive results. Changing the conservative rural mind-set towards performing arts is a victory in itself.

Cultural trainings for staff of other sectors

Staff of other sectors are given cultural training to make them use cultural expression as a part of their regular work with people, and to bring about more qualitative and effective participation from them. On an average, around 300 of RDT’s other staff are trained in this regard.

HIGHLIGHTS
 
STAFF SPEAK
 

“It’s not only about what we believe. Until our words are translated into actions, nothing will ever be achieved. Even though we are many in number, we are just a few as compared to India’s massive population. Through our performances, we just hope to unite the masses, inspire them to take action for a better society with higher and equitable living standards. What we have gone through, we wouldn’t want our future generations to experience again.”

S.NirmalaDevi
Cultural Organiser

SUCCESS STORY
 

Progress in the field of women’s empowerment, especially in rural India, has been slow paced. Despite consistent efforts, the results seem small and short-lived. RDT’s latest play –’Annadiga Aadapilla’ was to promote awareness and action against discrimination of women and girls in various aspects of life. The premiere of this play was shown on the night of 30th September2014 at Pullalarevu village in Rapthadu area.

A well-crafted, yet true-to-reality story of a girl, neglected by both parents who grows up without proper food and nutrition and then goes to school just to drop-out before completing secondary education. Her first pregnancy and delivery at the age of 16 becomes a nightmare for her. As days pass by, her husband, a drunkard, beats her every other night. And the sad story continues. The audience was then questioned about the status of women in the country. Fathers were questioned about whether this was the life they desired for their daughters.

While some women shed tears, their eyes spoke deeply about the concern and need to bring-in change for themselves. But the true victory of the act emerged when a couple walked up to the stage and expressed their discomfort with the current scenario and resolved on behalf of the village to make sure that no girl in the village will be forced into an early marriage, and be allowed to complete her education. In just a few days’ time, the village saw a body dedicated to work for the welfare of women.

After completion of the play, the Spanish visitors who watched the programme, met the director of Cultural Sector and expressed their appreciation about RDT’s ‘Theatre for Social Change’.

“Performing arts has a language of its own. It reaches masses and fills the heart with emotions that words fail in drawing forth.”

Mr. R. Nagaraj,
Sector Team Leader, Women’s Sector

PARADIGM SHIFT
 

“I am the CDC member in NNP Thanda village of Guntakal Mandal. In our village there are a few homes, where, due to sever domestic violence, women and children have been rescued by RDT’s Women’s sector workers and moved to shelter homes. The cultural sector has staged two dramas in our village about drunkenness and violence against women in the last year. Seeing them, the village elders started talking to the men of these families. Slowly, two of these men have interacted with sector workers to persuade their wife to come back and live with them. We are all aware of delicate situation in these homes and are ever-vigilant to ensure such things do not wreck any of our homes.”

Hari Ummadi, CDC member

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