Gully boys, girls in Thane, your time is here
“Out of 18 lakh citizens, 52% reside in slums. Among them are more than 18,000 children. Many of them are talented in acting, music or dancing, but their parents can’t afford to send them to training classes,” said an official.Updated: Jul 21, 2019 04:04 IST
The budding ‘gully boys and girls’ in the by-lanes of the city will soon get a training ground to step-up their act after school hours. Reason? The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has decided to set up nine Gully Art Studios in civic school premises in each ward to provide free acting, music and dance training to talented slum children below the age of 18.
Civic officials said the decision to start this project was taken as more than 18,000 kids in the city reside in slums, with no access to proper training in these art forms. “Out of 18 lakh citizens, 52% reside in slums. Among them are more than 18,000 children. Many of them are talented in acting, music or dancing, but their parents can’t afford to send them to training classes,” said an official.
The studios, to be built at a cost of ₹75 lakh, will be operated by private organisations, which will zero in on kids with an aptitude for music, dance or acting from every ward. “The organisations will coach the children for at least six to eight months, and encourage them to participate in national and international-level competitions. The coaching will be done after school,” said the official.
The project will be a part of the Happiness Index Scheme, undertaken by TMC to roll out several ‘feel good’ projects. Awareness about the initiative will be created through DigiThane, banners and advertisements.
However, some experts believe it is the responsibility of civic schools to teach these art forms to children, and there is no need to start a separate project. Raju Tulalwar, director and producer of Children Theatre, said, “As per norms of the education board, six Arts subjects — drawing, sculpting, singing, acting, dance and one musical instrument — must be taught in schools. There is no need to spend money on studios.”
Rajesh Rane, actor and director at Dyandeep Kalamanch, also said it is the responsibility of schools to teach these art forms to students. Tulalwar said such studios may lead to discrimination against these kids. “Many theatre groups experimented with the concept of ‘theatre for the underprivileged’. However, there was no audience for these plays… talented kids get categorised as underprivileged. The studio concept might also go the same way,” he said.
First Published: Jul 21, 2019 04:04 IST