BHOPAL: Theatre actor and director Bishna Chouhan has started a children’s theatre workshop on demand of kids and their parents living in her neighborhood.
With schools shut for the past nine months due to the Covid pandemic, kids are facing mental issues. Some of them have got addicted to mobiles and others have become a nuisance for their parents.
Bishna told Free Press that some children and their parents in Naya Basera, Kotra Sultananbad, near Shiv Sai Temple, had been requesting her to find something for the children to be engaged in. Bishna, who has recovered from Covid-19 about a month back, was not very comfortable with the idea of starting any activity that would involve close physical proximity. “But they were so insistent that I had to agree,” she says.
She says schools are not only about learning. They are also a place where children make friends, engage in sports and games and in lots of other activities. The long forced holiday cum lockdown has deprived the kids of all that. Their life has become very dull and drab, she says.
Around 12 children falling in the age group 3-16 years are taking part in the 21-day workshop that began on December 1. “I have asked all of them to bring warm water with them. And of course, facemasks and hand sanitisation are compulsory,” she says.
Bishna began the workshop with teaching few motivational songs to the children including ‘Itni shakti hamein dena data’ and Michael Jackson’s 'We are the world'. Bishna says that inspirational and prayer songs may help the children get over these tough times.
A play ‘Santa Claus’ has been prepared at the workshop and will be staged on Christmas Day. Moris Lazarus has composed the music for the play. Bishna says that a child psychologist Sonam Khetwani will also interact online with the children and the event will be streamed live on Facebook from December 10. "The artistes who want to join the workshop are most welcome,” she says.
"I have nothing to do the whole day except attending online classes. In school, we used to prepare plays and songs for the annual function. But this year, there is no function. I enjoy the workshop. Bua (Bishna) calls me assistant director."- Vinay Sapkale, 16
"I was getting bored sitting at home. The two hours I spend at the workshop are great. Didi (Bishna) has appointed me leader. I look after the smaller kids. She tells us interesting things about plays and songs." -Satyendra Singh Solanki, 16