MP: Stage set for play on Tatya Tope under historic banyan tree

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2015 21:17 IST

Preparations are afoot at the large banyan tree on the Jhabua jail campus that was used to hang the freedom fighters during the first war of independence.

But this time, for a better cause.

A stage of about 65X40 feet is being prepared to stage a play on life and struggle of Tatya Tope.

More than 200 artists, including 52 hearing and speech impaired children, will participate in the play 'Jo lade Deen ke Hith' to be staged on April 25.

"The children have been trained during their one-month-long summer workshop. They had been taught martial arts like Kalari pattu, Chhau and Bundelkhandi stick art for this purpose," said Bhushan Bhatt, the chief coordinator of the workshop.

"This is probably for the first time in the history of Jhabua that such a grand show will be organised here. I think this unique experiment will have been rarely experimented here in the state," said S Dhanaraju, district panchayat chief excutive officers.

The ground around the historic banyan tree is being leveled to organise the event. "The district administration has helped us at every step," said Dharmendra Malviya of Saaz Rang group.

Bhatt said the children (differently abled) are very talented. "They were quick to grasp the moves and learnt comparatively faster," said Bhatt.

The faculty that provided training included renowned artists Jayant Deshmukh, Vikram Mohan, Kanhaiyalal Kaithwas, Kumar Das TN and others.

While Kanhaiyalal and Kumar Das are National School of Drama pass outs others like Nandan Singh and Vikram Mohan are from MP School of Drama.

MPSD director Sanjay Upadhyay not only remained present during inaugural programme of the workshop but also provided his faculty to provide training.

"This workshop is seen here as a social movement. It is for the first time that several women including housewives participated in it. Most important, whole workshop and the play is public funded. People are coming forward and voluntarily funding and participating in the event to make it large," said Yashwant Bhandari.

The workshop that started on March 23 has about 350 enrolments with four-year-old Anshul Kothari, the youngest, and Sandhya Jain, 40, the oldest participant. Besides children, several housewives are also participating in the workshop.

Some of them come with their daughters and nephews - all learning aerobics, dance and other nuances of theater.

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