Child Rights receive the centre-stage

Posters, Panel discussions, Bookmarks, “Chatting-over-Coffee”, Street plays…

If you’re sensing a “much ado about nothing”, read on…

  • Two million Indian kids will die before they celebrate their first birthday
  • More females will be killed at birth
  • At least 35 million minors (aged 6-14 years) will not attend school

(Simulated futuristic statistics of the Indian minor)

Now doesn’t that paint a picture befitting our national “inflated” progress?

And if your mind sees red in this, you know what’s following-

History proudly recounts having used, abused and exploited children. The little souls agonise for reasons too many: hunger, homelessness, ill health, mortality incidence and several other woes entailed.

A pitcher full of innocence, trust and hope, yet we choose not to hold out even a promise of education to them. They deserve a childhood of dreams, an adolescence of opportunities and a life thus designed. They are citizens in their own right and are entitled to the full spectrum of human rights. Unless we take a stand for child rights we can expect nothing better than the continued tag of a ‘developing’ nation.

Which is essentially why, CSA came out with bookmarks bearing messages of child rights.

A bit of a background now–The Charter of Child Rights (CRC) declared the following as child rights across the world:

1. Right to Survival (to health, nutrition, name and nationality)

2. Right to Development (to education, care, leisure and recreation)

3. Right to Protection (from exploitation, abuse, neglect)

4. Right to Participation (to expression, information, thought and religion)

Last week, our major focus at CSA (Christ College) was to recognize every child’s right to education. We put up street plays that utilised contemporary techniques to grab students’ attention and eventually strike a chord in their hearts. ‘Chatting over Coffee’ saw spirited discussions voicing the relevance of education for holistic development. The panel discussion was centered on the topic, ‘Child Rights: Where did we go wrong?’ Subject experts namely, Kavita Ratna (Concern for Working Children), Usha and Nitya (Alternate Law Forum) triggered thought provoking discussions, by presenting their experiences.

From 8th to 12th July, CSA did their little bit to make the college sensitized on the various issues surrounding children.

By Shalini Chandy

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By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Street Theatre begins action!

The CSA Street Theatre, “Drishti”, which has received many laurels in the past for spreading awareness among the public on social issues, started its activities for the year right on the CSA Inauguration Day, July 7th, with quite a fun show to welcome the new volunteers to the CSA family and to portray what they basically do

The group boasts of 22 very active members this year. A n orientation and production workshop was organized for the members on 27th and 28th July and on the 4th and 5th August. The workshop was conducted by Mr. Mounesh and Mr. Upendra which was followed by regular practice sessions. They are all set to start the actual performances by mid-August in popular Bangalore areas as well as in villages.

Hope to see ‘Drishti’ perform in our college campus soon!

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Rolling stones gather no moss: Catching up with the Street Theatre Team

They had a very busy schedule right from September, starting with participating in the ‘De-addiction week’ along with the Department of Psychology. The volunteers underwent very rigorous practice sessions in the mornings and evenings.

Unlike the usual way of performing on streets, the team, performed on a real stage when they represented our college at the National Biblical, Catechetical and Liturgical Centre (NBCLC) conference held on the fourteenth of November. The play, Portraits of an Epoch showcased imbibing ideas from the gospels of the Bible. Despite the fact that most among the team were non-Christians, the participants claimed it to be a very novel and interesting experience. Besides, the play was widely appreciated at the conference.

On 15 November, Mr. Anil Pinto from the Department of Media Studies conducted an interactive session on The origin of theatre and How it became a popular form of art. “It was nothing like a seminar. Mr. Pinto captured our attention with his unique style of presentation and it was very lively”, opined Vandana, one of the participants.

Portraits of an Epoch was performed yet again at the National Law School Inter-Collegiate festival. They also represented Christ College at the Street Play Competition held at R V College of Engineering, Bengalooru.

The Street Theatre volunteers also found time to conduct a Theatre Workshop for the students of St.Josephs Indian High School on 18, 19, 25 and 26 November.

Both the Kannada and English teams worked hard for the prestigious Bengalooru Habba. They modified the above mentioned play and performed at the Habba from 3rd to 8th December. “ It was a once in a life time opportunity and we actually performed on the streets, even at night and also on open canters-something which we never even dreamt we would be doing” says Mijula a volunteer of the Street Theatre.

On 9th December, CSA celebrated Christmas in the Norwegian style and also formally inaugurated the collaborative Workshop with a Canadian theatre group for the selected 12 volunteers from the team. Having started on the 11th the workshop was held in association with Theatre In Education (Christ College). The main theme was ‘Human Rights’ under which they focussed on – ‘Water’ and ‘Women issues’.

The Street Theatre team worked in co-ordination with the College Choir and a dance team (headed by cultural co-ordinator Mr. Prasanna) and performed Portraits of an Epoch as part of the College Christmas celebrations.

Phew! A great way to end a year, wasn’t it?

So what have the other groups been upto?
Loads of things!

Besides exposure programmes to various organisations and specific group activities, Samveditha, the Vikas groups, Activity Centre and the Publications Team (the ones behind this blog) have been busy organising the National Seminar, Children’s day, taking part in discussion forums, ensuring the effectiveness and publicity of all the programmes and a host of other activites!

The truth is, once you are a part of it, nobody in CSA sits still.

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Theatre in the Basketball Court! : A Different Game

Thu,21 Dec: You surely missed it… if you weren’t present at the Christ College basketball court when the CSA street theatre team Drishti, in collaboration with a theatre team from Montreal (Canada) enacted a series of plays in front of a huge student audience!

The play which dealt with human rights was enacted in 2 parts:
1. A series of topics which included ‘respect for women’, ‘the need to wear helmets’, ‘smoking’, and ‘alcohol’ through a multi-lingual play by Drishti;
2. The Biblical story of Adam and Eve interpreted in a contemporary context, with a focus on the plight of women, by a combined group of Drishti and the Montreal team. It talked about the pressure mounted upon women in today’s world.

The enactment was true to the street theatre genre and involved a lot of expressing of ideas through body movement. To add to the fun, they used instruments like a flute, harmonica and drums. And guess how many people turned up at the basketball court to watch it?

350 souls! (including teachers and the watchmen)

The aim of the play besides promoting awareness on Human rights, was to provide a platform for a Drishti – Montreal team joint production, as well as performing for the students in college who were on their last working day of the month, before the Christmas vacations! (By the way, the college re-opens on January 2nd). Both the theatre teams have been undergoing a joint training programme in the college for the past 2 weeks which will culminate on the 28th of this month.

To know more about them, check out their blogs:

Drishti : www. streettheatre.blogspot.com

Montreal team: www. rightshere.blogspot.com

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti

Back in action!

A fresh and enthusiastic Street theatre group kicked off their first performance with two plays in Kannada on the 2nd of August. The plays in Rajendra Nagar slums were on the topic of HIV aids. The objective of the group was to convey to the rural public on the causes, effect and ways through which this disease was transferred.

The play on the 9th of August dealt with the theme of drug addiction. Held in the quadrangle, it highlighted the general ‘lethargic’ attitude of youngsters towards drugs. In addition to the effect on family, society etc., the show also had interesting statistics of the issue to show.

By Centre for Social Action Posted in Drishti