|Puppets and Plays for Value Education|
There is a small beautiful hamlet called Kondayur in central Kerala, where the mighty River Bharathapuzha also known as Poorna flows. It flows westward in southern India,where devotees of Krishna can be seen. Among the many Sanyasis who had lived here, great Sanyasi of 20th Century Swami Gyana Ananda Saraswathi Ji has a beautiful ashram. Kshetrhopasana Trust of Pujyashree Prema Pandurang an and our school - Vidya Sagar Gurukulam, Ayurvedic Trust are located in the Ashram of the great Swamiji . It is here a Drama camp is conducted for 15 days. Ms Brijitha, a highly dynamic French lady who has made kerala her home for the last 15years, is teaching 24 students the 'Art of Spontaneity.' A residential Drama camp for the participants who have to stay there for full 15 days are taught to enact plays which is presented at the end of the camp. During these fifteen days eminent personalities like Thiru. Kavalam Narayana Panicker, Ms. Sarah Joseph, Thiru. Kalamandalam Haridasan would be visiting the camp to meet the students and inspire them.
The camp is of traditional Indian Gurukula type, in which teacher and the student stay together for the full day while learning takes place. There are two full time teachers who stay with the children and taking loving care of them. Students will learn different rhythms, folk songs, folk lore of Kerala, and how to transform them into Plays using puppets and masks. More than the knowledge they learn from outside, the stress is on how to discipline oneself without outside compulsion. The focus is on Collective Spirit and Team work, which will help these students in their normal life and work area, even after they leave the camp. Thus this is an interesting way of imparting value education' to both the students who attend the camp and the audience who will be seeing their performance.
In English, the Shakespeare Dramas are called "Plays". These students of age between nine and fifteen learn to create and enact something unique and original. Through their plays they carry a strong message but in a subtle way to the world about great values like compassion, patience etc., The Plays will be perfomed in Kerala and other states of India. The camp is organised by Navarang, Palakkad , in association with Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy and Dhanwanthari Kalakshethra.
Once the camp is over we will post more details, about the where and when the Plays will be conducted, on our website. Once you see them, you will able to understand in depth of what we have described so far. Jai Bharath!