Drishti & Publications Workshop 2013

ImageIt was 2.00pm on a Saturday afternoon and we were waiting eagerly for a team building session to begin. The workshop held on 26th June 2013, was to be conducted by Mr Dominic and his arrival was much awaited. There were volunteers from Drishti and Publications present at the session. We came with certain expectations and assumptions about how the session might turn out to be, but boy, were we wrong?

There were a number of activities which were both fun and reflective. It helped us build more cohesion as a group which is essential for an organization like CSA. One such activity was when we had to walk around and suddenly were asked to stop. We had to interact with the volunteer ahead of us. This helped us in easy communication. There were similar activities that took place and they helped us get to know better than the usual ‘ Hello’ and ‘Good-bye’ we often use

We were able to share a slice our lives with another person and also listen to another person doing the same. This made me reflect on the art of reciprocation in communication. We had an opportunity to share our views and reflections about these exercises with our trainer. Then we moved on to play a game called ‘Myth’s and Truth’s’ which received active, enthusiastic participation from everyone present. I understood a tit bit more about human nature through this game.

The session came to a closure at 5.00pm and it was a memorable three hours we spent together building unity, cohesion and also self-reflection. There was a great deal of interaction, sharing, empathetic listening and fun. This team building activity was a great beginning for lots more to come. I hope CSA will provide us with more opportunities to learn and to be more reflective about ourselves and others.

Reported by: Avani Jain, I PSEng; Edited by: Nivendra Uduman, II MPCO


Drishti’s: Time and Waste Management Drive

ImageBeing a part of Drishti evokes a kind of spirituality in me. It is one such street theater team where we personify issues that our society faces to sensitize our viewers.

On 14th June, 2013 was Drishti’s first performance of the year. The play aimed at familiarizing the freshers about the rules and regulations of the university. The elements pervading the play were anti ragging, time management and waste management.

For the performance, one half of our face was painted white, describing purity. The Drishti rally was started by chanting, “Nattaka! Nattaka! Beethi Natakka!”  The first performance was held in Pebbels Park. As we raised our voices, a crowd gradually gathered. The first session ended with a roaring applause from the audience.

The second performance was held in front of the central block. Considering the larger crowd, we wanted to give our best and probably did.

The final performance was held in front of the Audi Block. This was accompanied by a slight drizzle. But it did not dampen our spirits or discourage the audience. Finally, the performances were concluded by a vote of thanks. Thus, bringing an end to the memorable performances; leaving us looking forward for many more.

Reported by: Nitin Murali, II CEP ; Edited by: Ritu Bachani III EPS

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Drishti’s Waste Management Drive: a step towards a cleaner Bangalore

483070_125174504303762_662379775_nWith the zeal to spread awareness on waste management around Bangalore and with the hope that our small steps will make a difference, Drishti headed towards Janakiram Layout—one of the first locations on our mission checklist.

Personifying ‘Kasada Rakshasa’, the demon of ever-increasing garbage, diseases and pollution, Lokesh opened the play to the crowd.

Chandrika brought to life a character we can easily relate to—that of an inconsiderate woman who dumps waste in front of her neighbor’s compound. This leads to a heated argument between the ladies of the two households and in turn, that between the men. The sensible Harshith who overhears them briefs them on BBMP’s works which aim towards the city’s cleanliness.

The focus then shifted to the insensitivity of people who care little about the cleanliness of their surroundings and dump garbage in inappropriate places, thus failing in their duty as responsible citizens.

The potential of waste segregation to turn ‘waste’ to ‘wow’ was highlighted by Narad (Madhu) who teaches Kumbhakarna (Raghavendra) proper waste segregation during their tour of the planet.

The day’s task complete and a sense of work well done, our bus sped back to Christ. This was just a beginning!

–Reported by Mariyam Begum, I BCZ; Edited by Aishwarya Ramasethu, II PCM and Om Nirvan Bhoyroo, I EPS

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Drishti: power, passion, joy and fun!

I count myself one among those fortunate Christites who could participate in one of Dhristi’s meetings, where I was overwhelmed by a sense of joy and pride seeing a grave focus on the importance and impact of art.

During that particular meeting, the theme of the year was discussed in detail. We came up with a lot of topics, and zeroed in on three of them. Then we were divided into groups to enact a skit on each topic. It was amazing to see how minds could crop up such innovative ideas and enact them perfectly in merely 10 minutes. As I watched the volunteers living their roles, I could sense the sheer joy and positive energy emanating from each of them.

The volunteers, who hail from different parts of the world, are given the liberty to enact skits in their own mother tongue. The best thing that strikes me as a volunteer of Dhristi is the cooperation and mutual understanding between us which binds us into a family. The need for explaining oneself is reduced because of the ‘we-feeling’ between us.  It seems as if we all are telepathically connected.

Each member of Dhristi is integral to the team’s success and is clearly valued and accepted. All are encouraged to enjoy themselves to the fullest, to do their best, and to know that their presence onstage matters. Of course, the volunteers have to endure a lot for the quality of their play, but at the end of the day, when Dhristi’s personal touch and empathetic tone spread smiles among the viewers, worries vanish from their minds to let joy and satisfaction fill them in.

This year, Dhristi is being led by two wonderful leaders- Shyam and Narayanan. It’s amazing to see the way they lead us as a team. One can easily spot the passion and love for art from the twinkle in their eyes.

As the volunteers start chanting “Nataka Nataka! Beethinataka”, a mind blowing sense of power and passion engulfs them. Needless to say, their enthusiasm is so contagious that everyone around them imbibes it! An element of surprise is a part and parcel of Drishti’s existence. We are waiting for Drishti to surprise us all!

Suganya Velumani, I PME


By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

‘College ki Duniya’-Drishti’s production at Christ University Campus

December 14th of 2011 was going to teach the students of Christ University the philosophy behind College Life! With the aim of uniting the different cultures that the University is a home to, creating a spirit of collaboration, instilling the seriousness of education, elucidating the perils of peer pressure and ensuring that an understanding evolves within the Christites, Drishti (CSA’s Street Theatre team) crafted this educational medley of acts.

Enacted in college, we received the same large response! Dressed in white and blue, and with utmost co-ordination, synced voices and the usual energy in abundance… the college show – “College ki Duniya” began. Television compere Lucas, in his typical voice, attracted the vast crowd.

ACT ONE: Seniors Dev, Narayanan and Arjun celebrate the arrival of a new college year – basically because it is freshers day. As they are enjoying themselves ragging Ravi and Nirmal, Narayanan sees two new girls (Kasturi and Surya) walk into the campus. He beckons Kasturi to come over – she escapes the ragging as she gives him some reason for embarrassment by calling him Anna. Surya gets caught though, Love at first sight he calls it – forces her to accept his invitation. Left with no choice – and after a muddled and emotional outbreak as a result of her career, family and the society’s reactions, Surya suicides. She had committed no sin. For no fault of her own, she suffered. Does ragging now give such fun? Who is he to take the life that God has bestowed on others?

ACT TWO: A class room scene that begins with a famous Kannada movie song. Lokesh appears to be a very studious person. Mugging by rote is his method of studying. Madhu, Abu, Nirmal and Naveen care not about the coming and going of exams. When the class teacher, Narayanan gives out the report cards, the usual anxiety and inquisitive attitudes arise. Abu lies about his marks to Lokesh. And like a stereotyped nerd, Lokesh responds with irritation that he has studied a lot and only he deserves to come first. When the truth that Lokesh was actually the topper was released, happiness and relief comes on. But during the placements… Lokesh is grilled logically and practically. His standard answer remains “It is not in the syllabus, Sir”. Abu gives wittier answers and skillfully solves the simulations. Abu gets placed. As an advice to Lokesh in specific and the crowd at large, Abu evokes a realization that one should study for knowledge and not for marks. Learning for marks only satisfies the present day want of passing the papers, but think about it – what does learning for knowledge have in store for you? Ponder on that.

ACT THREE: At a bar: a normal place where you find more attendance percentages among the college going generation. Three couples who are drunk with their own sense of enjoyment and blissfully unaware of the surroundings fall into an embarrassing trap. Shyam who is obviously unaware of his actions and mentally unconscious falls on Surya (Dev’s girl). A battle of the brawn surfaces between Dev and Shyam. The result is Shyam painful death. Madhu, who was also present during that event, calls Shyam’s Mother (Kasturi). She, in the motherly voice advises the audience on pressuring prospects of peer pressure. At the tender age of 20, does a college student have to give in to drugs and alcohol? Isn’t education more important?

ACT FOUR: Outside a class room – two families are shown cribbing over their respective children. Born crippled, these two (Lokesh and Harshith) are being teased and ridiculed in the class. Yet, they stand strong and determined in what they want to achieve – becoming a doctor and climbing the Everest. A few inspirational words from both and the thought of single-mindedly walking towards the target, follow. With Vande Matharam in the background, a guitar stringing some patriotic music, the men in the team creating a human pyramid, Harshith climbs Everest! Do the disabled (the fourth wave) deserve this? Being able-bodied, ain’t it your duty to protect them?

Emotions swayed, the audience applauded, the team’s passion showed and the entertainment quotient was omnipresent! Chiming along with Drishti, the audience sang the song – sparks of patriotism, sprays of self-realization and streaks of unity multiplied.

Drishti left the scene with the contentment that people had learnt something! Appreciation in abundance followed. A nostalgic feeling will remain every time we re-live the minute moments of this production.

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Changing India through Drishti :)

Nataka nataka bidi nataka is back in the campus with its first performance. After intensive training the street theatre team staged up their first performance in Christ University campus on December 17, 2009.  The theme chosen was  ‘Indian Social Scenario Today’.

Like always the team attracted a large crowd in both kiosk and food court with its excellent  performance. The theme chosen was very relevant and thought provoking which was presented in informative and comic way.

We wish them All the Best for the performances to come 🙂 Keep up the vision Drishti 🙂

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Drishti activities begun

On the 3rd of December 2009, the activities of Drishti ( CSA’s talented street theatre team) for the fourth semester began, with a new resource person taking charge of training the team. The meeting was held to plan activities for the current semester, and also to welcome and interact with the number of  new volunteers who recently joined the team.

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

When messy business turns fun!

“Eeeeeeewwwww!” Is the first expression anyone would have betrayed if they had been asked to manually collect and segregate domestic waste from 400 odd houses in a slum. But 48 volunteers from CSA on Sunday decided to challenge this generalization when they trooped into the Rajendranagar slum to create awareness about the upcoming Solid Waste Management project in the locality, and to conduct a waste audit to calculate how much solid waste was being produced per day.

Armed with brooms and coir baskets, and with painted faces, Drishti, the Street Theatre team, made a lot of noise and tried to spread the word about the upcoming project, and the importance of segregating waste at a home level. They conveyed the importance of managing waste and keeping the area clean through their plays.

Meanwhile, other volunteers split into groups and went to each house, collecting garbage. They asked for the waste, weighed it, and transported it to a segregating centre. At the segregating centre, more volunteers plunged into the waste and segregated the different kinds of solids – organic, paper, plastics, and others.

Drishti members lend a helping hand in the waste auditing, when they were not putting up performances. Together, the forty five volunteers, along with a few sponsored children, and staff of CSA, they marked the beginning of Parivartana – the Solid Waste Management project being initiated by CSA in the Rajendranagar area, supported by CHF. On Sunday, they evaluated how much waste was being produced each day, so that they could start building the waste treatment and recycling units.

This project will result in the building of four waste treatment and recycling plants – three in Rajendranagar, and one in Christ College – which will be run by women from Rajendranangar. Not only will this mean that garbage will be better disposed off, but it will also mean that a few women will get a source of permanent income.

Sahas, a firm which is acting as the consultant for the project, has estimated that more than 90% of the solid waste produced could be recycled. CSA getting ready to start full-fledged awareness programmes about waste segregation, management, and the importance of the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). MS Communication students are designing a unique awareness programme market the concept effectively and to reach out to each and every house in the slum.

Volunteers who took part in Sunday’s programme agree that it was messy at first, but they also found it to be a valuable learning experience. They realized how much waste was being produced, how many things which could be reused were being disposed, and the conditions in which the people who collected this waste worked, among other things.

“We were amazed at the amount of food being wasted! From now on, we’re going to campaign against wasting food,” Said Boishakhi, a first year volunteer, who had worked at the segregating centre of Sunday.

But the learning was also coalesced with fun. All the volunteers enjoyed working in the different groups, and got to know each other better. After the waste auditing, while having lunch, the volunteers were witnessed sharing tables with different people, chatting and laughing with volunteers other than their own friends.

On Saturday, there had been a general exposure to Rajendranagar. Around fifty volunteers went to Rajendranagar, walked through a part of the slum, and went for house visits along with the sponsored children. Most of them echoed varied thoughts about a ‘slum’ before they visited Rajendranagar, but they got an initial picture of how an area is considered to be a ‘slum’ and how they could improve, through the visit.

CSA is now looking forward to taking Parivartana forward. The official inauguration of the project will be on Saturday, the 26th of July, 2008.

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Drishti does it again for Child Rights week!

Kofi Annan always manages
to hit gold with his strong words. “There is no trust more sacred
than the one the world holds with children,” he has said. “There
is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected,
that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear
and want and that they can grow up in peace.”

It’s often very easy
to grow oblivious to the needs of children less fortunate than us, especially
when we’re armed with the trendiest clothes, the finest education
and wonderful homes. So with July 8th to 12th
rolling around, CSA determined to uphold child rights week by holding
a number of activities in honour of the child. Among these many and
varied activities was a performance put up by Drishti, the street
theatre team, which sought to tell spectators that millions of children
all over the world are being denied their rights.

The multilingual street
play, which was performed at different locations of the college including
the main auditorium and the kiosk, focused on all the rights that many
children don’t enjoy today. Among these was the right to education,
denied to children who are forced to work as bonded labourers and yet
are paid less than adults. The play also tried to instill a consciousness
in spectators about issues like child abuse and forced beggary, and
children’s lack of freedom to express their feelings and thoughts
about their lives. The play ended with a call to contribute to the child
sponsorship programme which the college takes up every year, helping
over 2000 children to receive an education they otherwise would have
no access to.

Vishal Mathew, a first
year Journalism student who was part of the performance, said while
talking about this experience, “I am really glad that I could contribute
to making a difference, big or small. I believe that every child deserves
the best, and I hope that there will now be more people who will come
to think the same way through this play.” Akhil, another participant,
added that it really gets to him to see children working and begging;
he wondered how, especially in a happening city like Bangalore, people
could be so blind to the situations some children find themselves in.

With the ‘week that
was’ behind us now, we are left to ponder over several questions-Will
we ever learn to empathise with those little ones who come to us begging
for loose change? When will the world wake up and realise that though
little hands work cheaper, the price we pay later is higher, and so
take up the cause to love and care for these children?

play was just one reminder in many that children have the all-important
right of being protected against abuse and the denial of their rights.
In the words of Carol Bellamy, the executive director of UNICEF, “in
serving the best interests of children, we serve the best interests
of all humanity.”

By Georgina Elizabeth Paul, Sampreetha and Bhavana

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti