For the first time in Mumbai, four NGOs have joined hands to generate collective funds to work towards education for children. The collaboration, Shine on Fest, is a 10-day festival wherein children will take part in art shows and workshops.
As part of the festival, a play by Amateur Performers Bureau theatre group, headed by Percival Billimoria, will be staged in the city. Proceeds from the four performances of this ticketed show will help the cause.
The rendition of the play, Sunshine Boys by Neil Simon, has seen Broadway glory and been reproduced as a TV series as well. It’s a comedy about two actors who grow to hate each other over 40 years and how they end up facing each other on stage. Billimoria says, “This is the first time NGOs have come together for a common cause. The whole idea was to incorporate entertainment for a good cause.”
Incidentally, all four NGOs work primarily with children and the fest aims to create awareness about education for children. While Mumbai Mobile Creches (MMC) supports children living on construction sites, CHIP Mumbai helps those in BMC schools. Nanhi Kali provides educational support to the girl child, and the Education Audiology and Research Society (EAR) contributes to the field of deaf education. Forty underprivileged children from these NGOs recently participated in a walk-through of the city, wherein they learnt to click pictures and painted their versions of the city after.
Lyla Mehta, representative of EAR and spokesperson of the fest, says, “The purpose was to encourage the children to explore their creativity and boost their confidence. It was amazing to see the talent they displayed. We showed their paintings at the Hacienda Gallery and got great feedback.” In an interactive session on November 21, titled Read a little learn a lot, the kids will learn to do illustrations and book covers.
“But we’re making money only from the plays. We plan to make the fest an annual event if this one’s a success,” says Mehta, adding that they’d look to collaborate with more NGOs next year.
Catch Sunshine Boys on November 18 at NCPA, 7.30 pm; Nov 20 at Sophia Auditorium, 7.30; and Nov 26 at St Andrew’s Auditorium, 8 pm.