Fifteen years ago, when Jayesh Jadhav joined a street play group in his college, he did not know that it would be something he would do on a daily basis through his adult life.
Today Jadhav, 30, and his group perform street plays across Mumbai creating awareness about HIV/AIDS.
On Tuesday, the eve of World Aids Day, the group, which works with Population Services International, an organisation working with public health in the city, performed their play, Joker, at the Horniman Circle Garden.
“Through each street play, we motivate 30-35 people in the audience to get tested for HIV,” said Ashok Kadam, 32. Jadhav recalled the time when a man hugged him after a performance and cried, wishing he had seen the play earlier.
Because of the effectiveness of street plays in creating awareness about HIV, the Heroes Project, which works to de-stigmatise the disease, has organised a street play competition for college students.
The competition will be judged by Bollywood celebrities such as filmmaker Karan Johar and actor Shah Rukh Khan.
Winners will get a chance to perform at the Kala Ghoda Festival and win a prize of Rs 1 lakh.