Through street play, project reaches out to construction workers

From the time it was launched in June 2011, Kushal, a partnership project between CREDAI Pune Metro and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), has worked taken several steps towards raising awareness amongst the construction workers about the importance of registering themselves in the labour office.

The registration makes them eligible to avail several health and education benefits made available by the government. Moving towards the same direction, the group, for the first time, had presented a street play, which was witnessed by over 250 construction workers. "Normally we go to the construction site and talk to the workers; briefing them about registering themselves. Theatre, being a creative medium, has a bigger reach with the audience, who connect with the theme instantly. Hence, we decided to stage the play," says Kapil Trimal, joint secretary, Kushal.

The play was staged at Solacia, Wagholi, and also saw presence of Ratnadip R Hendre, Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Santosh Bhosale, Assistant Commissioner of Labour and Sambhaji Kakade, Assistant Commissioner of Labour among others. "There were no heavy-duty dialogues; even the script was simple so that the workers do not have difficulty in understanding it. And the message is sent across without having them think too much," says Trimal. The 20-minute long Hindi play was put up by a cultural group called Manoranjan and included six actors from the group. "It was simple, comic and effective," says Trimal.

After successfully crossing the first milestone of training 10,000 Pune construction workers in a span of two years, now the aim of Kushal is to upgrade the skills of 100,000 construction workers in the next 10 years, says Trimal. "The programme has been a pioneer in creating a unique on-the-job skill-training programme for the construction workers. In less than two years, Kushal has developed a unique and successful model that helps construction workers to learn while they earn," he says.

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