The Covid19 pandemic and lockdown brought a wave of difficulties, challenges and injustices. While everyone suffered, it was a “life-and-death period” as stated by founder Deepa Pawar, for NT-DNT communities and other already deprived groups. Among them, women, trans persons, the disabled, etc. were even more vulnerable. They faced privations and exploitation not just economically but also socially, administratively, mentally, physically, sexually. In order to be aware of such issues, fight such injustices and more importantly, introspect and not promote harmful behaviour towards those more vulnerable, the Badlache Parv Kala Manch prepared a street play to spread awareness about the social aspect of COVID-19. The invaluable contribution of women and girls during COVID19 in exchange for the alarming rising violence against them, mental health issues, hardships faced by the poor – were some of the topics covered. The play presented a number of concrete measures that the public could take to reduce injustices.
Since March is observed as Women’s History Month to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, this street play was scripted in accordance, and performed during this month.
The group performed at various locations, starting with a Primary Health Care Centre at Kalyan, where women healthcare workers had gathered to engage in workshop on Mental Justice, NT-DNT rights and disaster preparedness. There were several other performances outside railway stations, markets, etc., carried out with support of local police, elected corporators and other stakeholders.
“Your words encouraged us that we are on the right track, we can do more for the mental justice of people we are working with.. And some of the difficult words you used also got clarified in the beautifully presented street play by these young people!” - A health worker.
“It was a well presented play. I’m happy to see many youngsters taking such responsibility and being a part of influencing the society in a good way!” - A spectator
With a performance of just 10 minutes, the youth brought to light various social aspects of COVID19 pandemic and lockdown.