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In defence of Cultural Performance, during RTI Convention

In defence of Cultural Performance, during RTI Convention

No doubt there were several posts criticizing the Cultural Programs during the RTI National Convention. Several delegates at the venue orally voiced their displeasure on these events. While one of them even complained against it in writing, as we can see from one of the feedbacks printed in the proceeding of the convention. The "Headless Chicken" of Fin. Express did not spare the program either. Several posts were made in some of the lists, on application filed under RTI seeking information on justifications of these programs during the RTI Convention. I am afraid I have not come across any replies on this subject in any of the list, I consider its ok if I post my comments after two months gap.

I zero in to the defence of just two of the programs viz. Puran Bhatt's Puppet Show and Bhatti's skit program as I havent seen the others.

Its need less to point out that Rural masses and the youth form the majority of the residents of our country. Reaching out to these people can help us achieve in creating awareness amongst the majority of the citizens. Rural folks hardly have the time to gossip, read newspapers or watch TV. Programs like street plays and puppetry serve as a powerful medium in reachng out to them. I would like to highlight the success in creating awareness of the highly endangered Whale Sharks, protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, in the nook and corner of Gujarat state, by the Wild Life Trust & International Fund for Animal Welfare. At the start of the program, even the Chief Conservator of Forest (Wild life) in Gujarat state did not have the slightest idea on this largest shark habituating the costal areas of the state.

These street plays helped capture the attention of fishermen Somnath, Dwarka, Diu, Jamnagar, Mithapur etc.. Meticulously prepared scripts, written in down to earth language, accompanied with music appealing to the rural folks helped in educating the people in campaign against the killing of Whale Shark. Maybe, you might like to visit the links to learn more for yourself

Street play on Whale Shark starts a ripple

Bhatti's comedy skit "Right to Ignore" is another program that can definitely appeal to the youth of the country. Teenagers and adolescent are also citizens of the country. Music and humor is what that catches their attention, in addition to pig latin and crude jokes. Those are the areas where Bhatti excells.

May be our friendly neighbourhood NGOs could take a relook at these programs.

Let the questions follow.

Manoj Pai
Ahmedabad

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