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Students from Pune-based colleges perform street plays to encourage voters

Drama groups and cultural wings of colleges have taken it upon themselves to raise voter awareness by performing street plays across the district; city is in focus, but much attention will be paid to surrounding rural areas

pune Updated: Mar 29, 2019 16:24 IST
Dheeraj Bengrut
Dheeraj Bengrut
Hindustan Times, Pune
FC Creators, which is the drama group of Fergusson College will be staging street plays about voter awareness all over the city, particularly at prominent chowks like Good Luck chowk and Mandai chowk, starting from April first week.(Milind Saurkar/HT Photo)

As the nation is gearing up for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 and political parties are busy campaigning, the students of city colleges have taken up a unique initiative to create voter awareness. The students from the drama groups or from the cultural wings of the colleges will be performing street plays and skits both in the city and in the rural parts of the district to encourage citizens to exercise their franchise.

“Fifteen days back, we were told by the college to write a ‘street play’ on voter awareness and then we staged it at a rally in our college. This opportunity made me think why I should not take this initiative forward and expand the reach. So, I spoke to some of my friends from other colleges about it. Now exams are going on and so we will be staging the street plays all over the city, particularly at prominent chowks like Good Luck chowk and Mandai chowk, starting from April first week,” said Pratik Jhagade, first year student who is part of ‘FC Creators,’ which is the drama group of Fergusson College. Pratik has written and directed the street play through which citizens are told about the importance of voting and being alert about the malpractices that happen during the election period.

Rutuja Gole, another student from FC Creators, said , “ When people are told to vote, they do not listen, but when it is told through a story, it creates an impact. We want to help people understand that their vote can make a difference. The people who vote for none of the above (NOTA) option is increasing and this shows that it is necessary to educate the people to choose the right candidate.”

It was quite a similar scene in Garware College where the students are busy preparing for a skit on voter awareness. “The main objective behind this activity is to reach the voters who are in the rural parts of the district and create awareness about voting. We will be going to nearby villages and staging our play at the Gram Panchayat. We will also be performing in some housing societies in the city, where some people prefer to vote rather than going to the voting booth,” said Sagar Alkunte, student’s head, cultural department, Garware college.

While Vikram Shinde a student from Bharati Vidyapeeth College who has their own students drama group ‘Aamhi Bharatache Lok’ (We the people of India) are performing street plays from last one month all over Pune on voters registration and awareness. “When we realized that most of the college students have not enrolled themselves for voting and are also not interested in voting it gave us the idea to make a street play over it. So we made a ten minutes skit and started performing it in college campuses and in some public places. The only thing we want to do is to make youngsters and citizens aware and awake to come forward and vote.”

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 16:24 IST