Passionate towards plays and acting, these children want to express themselves on the stage but don’t like to be called as 'slums children'.
They prefer to be called as actors when they perform.
A group of teenaged Gond children came to Indore and staged a play based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short story “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” at Maharastra Sahitya Sabha at Jail Road on Sunday night.
The play was in Hindi and some dialogues were in Gondi.
All of these children were born and brought up in low- income families; some of them work as labourers in Bhopal while some study in government schools.
These youngsters belong to a Gond slum, Ganganagar, in Bhopal and mostly speak Gondi language.
A young theatre activist Avijit Solanki working with them for four years claims that they themselves improvised Marquez’s story. Solanki and his friends pool money for the costumes and travel expenses.
"We have done a workshop and I had only read the story. They themselves improvised the act,” said Solanki.
“Nearly 20-25 teenagers of my area are passionate towards theatre. Theatre has also given us a tool of understanding the society and its dimension. What hurts us when the people judge our performance on the basis of slums? We are actors first and that is our identity,” said Mona Uike, a 17-year-old girl who played Munari in the play.
The teenagers have changed the name of Marquez’s characters like Pelayo and his wife Elisenda were named as Illa and Munari.