SHEHJAR CHILDREN THEATRE GROUP

Need of Children Theatre In Kashmir

HELP Foundation J&K is a nonprofit organization setup in 1997 by a few likeminded people, with the objective of providing a helping hand to people affected by the violence in the strife-torn valley. The focus has been on providing education and mental health counseling to women and children, who have been the worst victims of turmoil, relief, and rehabilitation to various sections of the society who are several challenged by physical disability and/or economic deprivation. The Foundation is extending its activities in almost all districts of Jammu and Kashmir province. The operations in these districts are being done by volunteers, staff and trustees.

The focus of the Foundation is on providing quality education to under privileged children. The Foundation is running schools in different areas of the valley and providing educational assistance to about 1000 orphan children directly or indirectly through various schools, running in different districts of the valley. This project was taken up after conducting surveys, about the number of orphans and widows, child labor and the number of physically challenged people in some districts of the valley like Kupwara, Srinagar, and Budgam. The Foundation finally started its own schools.

Apart from education we introduced theatre in education so that we can deal with the new and improved tools to enhance the quality of education in our nation, reason for introducing theatre was that there was a great amount of hesitation and stress within the children and we used theatre as a medium to brush their abilities so that the turmoil will not affect their level of education, So we came to the conclusion and formed our own theatre group with the name of SHEHJAR CHILDREN THEATRE GROUP:

SHEHJAR CHILDREN THEATRE GROUP

AN INTRODUCTION

HELP Foundation ever since its inception in 1997 has been helping the downtrodden people in the society. The emphasis of its programmes is helping deserving people in getting better education, extending help in medical care, taking care of orphans and empowerment of women.

As part of its education programmes the Foundation has introduced Theatre so that they use theatre as a tool to help the affected children The Foundation has its own theatre personalities working for it. These people so far, have conducted theatre training Workshops for different children mostly students from the schools within and outside Srinagar. The trained students have participated in several programmes mainly cultural activities like plays on social issues, heritage and Kashmir folk music and dance on stage and in other festive occasions.

Foundation has organized big event like Children Theatre Festival in November 2007,first of its kind in the history of Jammu and Kashmir and from every district, one group participated in it. About 15000 children participated/witnessed this event.

Help Foundation with its group called Shehjaar Children Theatre Group also participated in many regional as well as national Children Theatre Festivals & bagged so many awards for productions, costumes and in direction.

Need of theatre in day to day life

Theatre acts as a platform to convey our message to the Government.

Theatre helps us to fight against the social evil.

Theatre helps to build the social capital of a community.

Theatre acts as the perfect source of enhancing the actual quality of arts, shedding light on the patterns that connect us all, provoking dialogue and improving the public's sense of community and social justice.

Theatre in education provides a forum for students to develop an understanding of themselves and others.

As students develop a better understanding, they are able to create works using the forms, elements and techniques of the Theatre discipline

acts as a therapy to cure the mentally disturbed.

In this stressful life theatre acts the perfect medium to ease the pressure day to day to life.

Theatre acts as a medicine to fight against the drug addiction etc.

Earlier theatre was the only source of entertainment even with the invention of cinema ,TV and radio theatre is still the hot favorite among the general audience as it includes the live performance of the artists

Importance of Theatre In Kashmir

We have discussed theatre in general however if we look at ourselves theatre has played or I should say is playing a vital role not only among the adults but among the children also .The Present situation in Kashmir is prevalent to everyone and critically affected are the children’s of Kashmir as they grew under the shadow of fear, they were the victims of mental disorder and depression. After the recent survey we came to know about other disorders also like insomnia and the violent streak. Due to these disorders they became dependant on drugs and alcohol so that they get peace of mind.

As part of its education programmes the Foundation has organized big event like Children’s Theatre Festival in November 2007, children’s film festivals

And this is where we used theatre as a tool to find against these social evils and to help the affected youth by doing awareness shows, street plays educational children theatre workshops and many more activities.

We used theatre to show the brighter side of the life to the affected people so that they get out of the stress.

In past Theatre in Kashmir was itself affected by the turmoil and we try to revive with the help of our second line (Children).

One of the psychological disorders among children is learning difficulties. Due to the conflict in the valley and Children with such disorder are often disinterested in attending school. To generate interest among such students, theatre plays vital role

Financially week and even experience to violence such children are lacking confidence and are depressed. Most of these children had one or other psychological disorders like; adjustment disorder, depressive disorder etc, again theatre can be used to help them in getting things sorted out.

Theatre in health education/promotion;

To deliver best health education that too, to large gathering, theatre is very useful. A script according to the need is written and performed in the shape of street play (Nukad Natak). This attracts a large gathering and hence, our job was done more effectively.

Events Done :

Asi-Te-Karave-Eid during National Children Theatre Festival (Jashn e Bachpan 2008) By National School of Drama

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