In a state like Punjab, plagued by skewed sex ratio, incidents of infant girls being abandoned and thrown into garbage bins make headlines often. One such news story disturbed Jatinder Brar, the man behind Punjab Naatshala, Amritsar, to such an extent that he decided to do something about it.
Using the medium of theatre, Brar decided to spread awareness about the growing cases of crimes against women and instigate a change in the mindset of the people. The result of his resolve is a play called Daughter of the Bin, which was staged at Punjab Naatshala on Saturday and Sunday evenings. The play has been written by Brar and directed by Rajinder Singh. “I remember reading a news item about a newborn girl thrown into a dustbin, which disturbed me a lot.
Even a newborn child is a citizen of the country; but when a girl is thrown like this, who will look after her and ensure that she gets all the rights that a citizen of India gets? These questions prompted me to write the play,” says Brar. The team at Naatshala put their heart and soul into making of this play. While Brar wrote the play in almost a month, the production took nearly two months while the sets were constructed in five to six months.
“Earlier, the play was in the form of a mime which had been presented in as many as 12 shows.
Later, I felt that we should take the aid of dialogues to increase its impact further,” Brar adds.
Saturday marked the first day of the show with dialogues added. A satire on the evils of the society, the play has been woven around the malpractice of female foeticide, though it also touches upon other evils prevailing, such as bureaucracy, wrong governing policies, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and caste system.
Such was the impact of the play that the audience received it with a thundering applause and standing ovation. “I am glad that people have started appreciating theatre. Although bringing about a change in mindsets is a long process, but I strongly feel that theatre is a medium which can help increase the pace of this change.
If the play can prompt people to think about these issues, our purpose is solved,” Brar says. Rajinder Chaudhary, Gulshan Saggi, Master Kuljeet, Saajan, Shobha, Maansi, Simran, Kajal, Nazish Maan, Gagan, Arun, Pradeep Keemti, Jaswant Mintu, Jyoti, Chetan and Satnam Mudhal comprise the play’s cast.