children who participated in the workshop
scene from the play
The IGNCA conducted a six-week-long theatre workshop at Mount St. Mary’s School New Delhi. Senior students of the school participated in the workshop. Several prominent theatre personalities introduced theatre techniques to the children and gave them practical training.
At the end of the workshop, the students performed a Habib Tanvir play ‘Charandas
Chor.’ The workshop was conducted by Ms. Laxmi Rawat, an IGNCA staffer and alumna of Sriram Centre for Arts, Delhi. Senior theatre artistes including Shri Mushtaq
Kak, Director, Sriram Centre for Arts and Shri N.K. Pant, Coordinator, Theatre in Education group of National School of Drama gave lectures at the workshop. A detailed introduction on light and sound effect was also given to the children by technical experts in the field. Ms Anita
Suri, Exhibition Officer, IGNCA, coordinated the workshop.
The play ‘Charandas Chor’ revolves around the story of a thief who took four pledges in front of a
sadhu, that : 1. he would not eat in a golden plate, 2. he would not marry a Princess, 3. would not sit on the throne and 4. would not ride an elephant. He thought these any way would not come his way.
The sadhu made him take a fifth pledge, that he would not tell a lie. With a lot of reluctance, Charandas took this pledge also and kept it. His fame as “truthful” thief spread.
Once Charandas stole some gold coins from the royal treasury. The Princess, who was the ruler then gave a public call to the thief to surrender, if he was indeed “truthful.” Charandas appeared before the Princess and accepted stealing five coins. To his surprise she said that 10 coins were missing. Eventually it was discovered that the treasury keeper had stolen the other five. Impressed by
Charandas, the Princess offered him an elephant, which he refused, then he was offered a golden plate which also he refused. Seeing his grit and resistance to allurements, the Princess fell in love.
Charandas, keeping his vow, refused her hand. Offended by the refusal, the Princess fixed a false case of molestation on him and put him to death.
The play was performed by the students of Mount St. Mary’s School both in their school and at the
IGNCA. They displayed the knowledge and technique they had inculcated during the workshop.
The IGNCA has a separate section for children. This section ‘Baljagat’ is involved in promoting the arts among the school students. Children and students of government and municipal corporation schools are in the priority in
Baljagat. Several workshops to teach techniques of making paper, papier
mache, film shows, crafts classes and theatre workshops are held throughout the year.