No takers for Dalit empowerment show at Kumbh

Kumbh Mela

A theatrical presentation, which was expected to spread the message about empowerment of Dalits through the story of "Jamunia" here at Kumbh-2013, is craving for audience.

The two-hour show beginning 6.30 pm every day, which is a creation of the Song and Drama Division (SDD), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, began on February 1 and will continue till February 14. The venue is Chandrashekhar Azad Park, also known as Company Garden. In its four shows so far, the audience has refused to go up from more than a couple of thousands.

The in-charge of the show Rajnish Kumar Bhagat, Assistant Director, Sound and Light (SDD), "We wanted more and more people to see the show, which sends the message of empowerment through knowledge. But the audience has been thin here. By bringing it in Allahabad during Kumbh-2013, we expected huge audiences, but that has not happened so far."

One of the possible reasons could be the venue being away from the Kumbh Mela area. "We wanted a space within the Mela area. We also contacted various Mela officials. Ultimately, we were told that the Company Garden would be best suited for our purpose. But things have not turned out as expected."

Company Garden, it must be mentioned, is a hot spot of the city and the elite, the commoners and the tourists keep visiting it. However, with the Mela going on, the entire focus has shifted to Sangam, which is three to four km away, feel organisers.

The show, which gained popularity as a theatre production, is also now a television serial being telecast on various channels of Door Darshan for the past six months by the same name. Directed by D J Narain, who is currently director of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, the show depicts the story of "Jamunia", a poor, illiterate, Dalit widow, who takes on the caste-driven establishment after realising the importance of knowledge.

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