The Street’s their Stage

In high-tech world, Nukkad nataks are still used to propagate social and political messages

Published: 24th March 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th March 2015 12:46 AM   |  A+A-

Nukkad nataks or street plays are as popular as ever. Lot of people may not be interested to watch nukkad nataks which are the age old forms of street plays in this era of hi-tech world. But, they are proved wrong. Nukkad Nataks popularity has risen even more now.

Nukkad nataks by Manthan and Live Life Foundation are a common sight at Raahgiri initiative held at Gachibowli every Sunday. Save Tigers message was very efficiently disseminated in the last Raahgiri by Kids for Tigers in the city.

In observance of “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” Abhiyan being launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, nukkad nataks on the theme “Beti Hai To Kal Hai” were staged regularly at different venues across the country.

Manthan the Nukad Natak Society aims at shaping young girls into becoming aware, responsible and thinking adults, having an opinion on issues of social, political and public significance. They use nukkad nataks very efficiently to communicate the message.  They also conduct rigorous workshops and training sessions. 

Connect & communicate

City-based Events Academy – Rachnoutsav Academy recently organised Jalwa, an inter college cultural festival at Sundarayya Kalabhavan at Baghlingampally. Nukkad nataks competition was one of the categories which drew participation from many colleges in the city. It has attracted 40 participants. Teams from different, colleges shared their views on various social and cultural causes and their ideas on finding sustainable solutions through the street plays. 

For promotional campaign, Aircel used series of nukkad nataks in localities like Badi Masjid Road, Nanakramguda, Katedan Village, Sivarampalii industrial area targeting migrant workers.

Speaking about these plays, Hardeep Johar, circle operations head, Aircel said, “We understand the needs and requirements of our customers and constantly work towards offering the best products and services to cater to their needs and aspirations. Nukkad natak is one of the best ways to connect and communicate with our customers and convey right messages about our products.”

“Street plays have been an integral part of our tradition in India,” says Vishala Reddy of IdentCity and lady behind Raahgiri Initiative. Raahgiri offers an excellent platform to revive, rejuvenate and add fillip to Nukkad Nataks in the city.

These plays are a theatrical performance that takes place in public spaces like shopping centers or street corners. A group of artists dressing simple costumes stage their work on street as a means of educating and creating awareness among the masses, which is really a challenging one. “We at Rachnoutsav had good fortune of organising street plays as part of entertainment and event management to many of our clients,” observed Rakhi Kankaria of Rachnoutsav Events Academy and Events Company. 

Social message

“The plays are used to fill the gap and acts as a bridge between the audience and the artists. It helps in propagating social and political messages in a sarcastic and humorous way. Communicating about various social problems like gender discrimination, smoking, dowry, female foeticide, corruption, gutka, farmers suicide etc., has become easier with the help of this medium,” says Rakesh Singh, who undertook All India Cycle Ride for Gender Freedom. He pedalled 5,100 kms across four southern states of India to reach Raahgiri. He was in the city recently. 

How do they work?

“We make it a loud affair to attract the attention of the crowd as introductory part of the natak. We need to have lot of energy and concentration. There are no takes and retakes. You have to give your best shot. We need lot of rehearsals. Which we do very frequently.  We don’t have a luxury of using a mike, performing on stage in front of audience. We need to perform among the audience, right in front of their eyes. So we use lot of humor quotient. We make them funny. We use limited props like chunni, hand towels, dafli etc., Nukkad natak is not just restricted to acting alone. You can add many elements such as music, dancing etc.,” informs Anirudh, a Nukkad Natak player and an IT professional.

Whatever you do, you must keep it relevant and interesting. “That is the secret behind the success of a Nukkad natak,” says D Kalapana, director of Media Junction, who uses Nukkad Nataks route to propagate the importance of speaking skills among the children and adults.

“These street plays are also a celebration acts. Many theatre societies hold auditions to recruit people for nukkad nataks. Those children and adults want to shed their fear, inhibition can get into nukkad nataks, adds Kalapana.

Being part of the nukkad nataks is very engaging, fulfilling. It gives you feel good factor as you are propagating a social message. So be the change you want to see in the country. Nukkad Natak is an attempt to bring a change in the society. So next time you find a nukkad natak being performed, stop , watch and spread the message. nukkad nataks are here to make people aware and will go rocking too.

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