The children of a Delhi-based NGO called Super School India (SSI) are fighting a very important battle against evil this Diwali. The battle against child labour in fireworks factories in India and the pollution caused by crackers. In this bustling district of Saket, they are showcasing a nukkad naatak to educate students and bystanders about how their loud habits are perpetuating a deplorable fireworks industry. The actors who are as young as 7 years old, have also pledged to never burst crackers again. The storyline starts with Ram and Sita looking forward to returning to India after defeating evil in Lanka only to find that their countrymen are also promoting evil by forcing children to work in fireworks factories.
Their performance is courageous, energetic and moving. They have performed for over 1000 students in 4 government schools in Sangam Vihar and to the hundreds at PVR Saket Market, New Delhi in just 3 days. The naatak wanted to help the kids (the actors and audience) understand in an interactive way that while they have the privilege to go to a school, some kids of their age are working in factories, suffering from severe health issues. And their tiny sacrifice of giving up crackers can lead to a positive change in the lives of many unfortunate children.
The performers form a part of a community called Super School India founded by Radhika Mittal, a Political Science graduate from the National University of Singapore, who recently moved back to Delhi and has been following her passionate heart ever since. She and her team of volunteers have been successfully running a free, after school learning program for underprivileged kids for the past few months now, addressing a section of society that still needs quality and focused attention. At Super School, along with academics, her team has a strong focus on teaching moral and civic issues to children. Learning from a textbook is amazing but imbibing and practicing the values that make a good human being, don’t come easy.
SSI, regularly conducts activity-based lessons, creating an environment that encourages ethical behaviour overall – – The street play this Diwali is just one beautiful example of the many activities the kids partake in. Radhika held auditions for the various roles and out of a total of 100 students, 24 were selected to perform. The troop is putting up their final performance tomorrow at Select City Walk Mall, Saket (8th November, Sunday 12.30PM). Onkar Grover and Tarun Kohli from Khanabadosh, a Delhi-based street theatre group, also took out time to deliver a workshop on acting for these young stars of Super School India. If you’re heading out this weekend for Diwali shopping, do stop by to show your support and watch the kids perform.
We are told every year that Diwali signifies prosperity, joy and the victory of good over evil. The Super School kids are doing their bit. Let us join the battle by giving up crackers and make Diwali truly about defeating evil.
Find Super School India and their initiatives on facebook: click here