From questioning acts of terrorism, appealing for gender equality, demanding due respect for police personnel to spreading awareness about plastic pollution, students from various colleges in Delhi displayed a plethora of emotions as part of the three-day Be on the Street (BOTS) — a youth festival that aims to raise social awareness, by Be Artsy.

“Feminism ka daur chala, patriarchy peeche chor chala,” collectively roared the students of Abhinay, the dramatics society of Maharaja Agrasen College during their street play Ab, Normal. Savi Sethi, 20, shares, “It’s Ab-normal. We tried to focus on the fight between two genders, man and woman, and how we completely forget all about the third gender or [acknowledge] their existence.”

Through these lines — Din bhar isse kaam karao, yeh kabhi naah thakta hai, aath ghante ki hai battery lekin baara ghantey chalta hai — Nepathya, the dramatics society of Pannalal Girdharlal Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College (evening) began their act, On Duty. Akhil Kumar, the society’s president, shares, “Policemen work 24*7. They don’t get proper facilities yet they always stand and serve us at all festivals, concerts, cricket matches while we enjoy the day/night away. They ensure our safety at all times. But we don’t thank them enough.”

While for Rangayan, the dramatics society of Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College (ARSD), the focus was on restoring people’s faith in the judiciary and the misuse of power, for Sri Aurobindo College (Morning) the theme was preservation of indigenous languages.

“Main krodh hoon, gussa hoon, ahankaar hoon, tum sab ke peeche chupa hua shaitaan hoon, main aatank hoon (I am anger, a monster, a terrorist that lives inside you),” boomed the voice of Rajdhani College’s Chirag Kumar, as part of the play Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest). The college’s dramatics society Tryambakam presented a power-packed act highlighting the recent horrific terror acts.

Interestingly, the students also held posters displaying anti-terror helpline numbers as part of their performance. “Theatre means everything to me. The thought was to ask people to not connect terrorism with religion. We hope that through the act, the mentality changes. It will require time and constant hard work. We’ve been practising every day. We hope that through the act, the [stereotypical] mentality [of the public] changes,” he concludes.

First Published:
Apr 15, 2019 12:59 IST

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