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Play it safe, online

art and culture Updated: Mar 08, 2013 18:20 IST
Arundhati Chatterjee
Arundhati Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Students from various city colleges put up street plays on Internet safety and virtual security at the concluding leg of Stop. Think. Connect. The initiative conceived by The Data Security Council of India, in association with Facebook, Google, Kaspersky and Microsoft, along with Fever 104 FM, saw participation from colleges like St Xavier’s, KJ Somaiya, Kelkar and LS Raheja in the Mumbai edition.

Along with the theatrical performances, indie band Indo-Gypsies entertained the audience with an energetic act. The plays, which lasted around 10 minutes each, showcased several aspects of the performing arts — including folk music, limericks and stunts. They sent out messages on important issues like phishing, hacking, impersonation and pornography.

Kelkar College won first place and a cash prize of R50,000 for their play that had plenty of interesting puns in the script. KJ Somaiya College came a close second.

The panel of judges comprised Pawan Uttam, a member of theatre group Rangrez and RJ Sidhu from Fever 104 FM. The occasion was also graced by Dr Satya Pal Singh, Commissioner of Police, Mumbai. The performance by the students of Kelkar College moved him to tears.

“I promise to have these kids perform at the Mumbai Police Awards,” he said. RJ Sidhu added, “Each group was brilliant in its own right. Everybody is a winner. Seeing them, I remembered my college days when I used to host events and perform at various competitions.”

“Facebook has millions of users worldwide. We have various security options that one can avail free of cost. But if people pretend to be someone else and get involved in alien activities, we will not be able to help them,” said Manoj Varghese, director, Facebook India. “Street plays are an interesting concept because they gather people without prior notice. It is an intriguing medium and hence, along with various online activities, we have selected street theatre as our on-ground medium.”