A theatre group, Theatre for a Cause (TFAC), has invited people to participate in the TFAC Challenge where they can act, sing, dance or recite a song from any English musical, in order to help them raise funds in support of the Blind Relief Association that is providing meals to the homeless and People With Disabilities (PwDs) in this global pandemic. TFAC is also running a pandemic-related initiative with Milaap, the fundraising platform. Vandana Munjal, entrepreneur and actor, from the group speaks to The Morning Standard about this TFAC initiative. Excerpt:
How did you come up the TFAC Challenge?
We were scheduled to stage our musical in April 2020. Due to the pandemic, we had to call it off. We realised we wanted to not just raise funds for the needy, but also uplift and spread positivity. We started an online challenge, TFAC Sing for a Cause, to help raise funds for The Blind Relief Association, Delhi, that is hygienically cooking meals in their campus kitchen and Uday Foundation that is distributing them to the homeless affected by the lockdown. To participate, an individual has to upload a video and tag TFAC’s Facebook and Instagram handles, using the hashtags #tfacchallenge #challengeaccepted. For every entry, TFAC will gift ration to a family of four for one month. Till now, we had 270 participants from six continents. We had three visually impaired children who expanded their musical repertoire learning songs by ABBA within one week to participate in the challenge. Till now, we received 230 songs in 14 days and gifted meals to 4,600 homeless people.
Why did you collaborate with Blind Relief Association?
After discussions with various NGOs, we found that the pandemic and lockdown has severely affected people from all walks of life, but none more than PwDs. Despite the government and efforts made by NGOs, PwDs are largely unable to avail of the assistance being provided.
The Blind Relief Association decided to start doorstep delivery of ration kits to lower income PwD’s whose disability prevents them from leaving their homes and navigating queues. We want people to connect with each other through creative expression to spread positivity and cheer.
Tell us about your Covid fund-raising activities.
The youngest members of the TFAC team, Saina Munjal and Ahaana Bharatram who are Class 9 students at The Shri Ram School, have started a fundraising campaign on Milaap. They are making videos, promoting the fundraiser through social media, and many bloggers featured their initiative. The plan is to raise Rs 10 lakh to give ration kits to 1,000 people with disabilities to feed their family of four for one month.
How do you locate the families in need?
We are working very closely with The Blind Relief Association, an NGO that is serving the visually impaired since 1944. They have partnered with NGOs Saksham, Action for Autism and Hoonar Foundation to distribute ration kits across Delhi.
Tell us about your top performances in the Capital.
We are a diverse pool of artists who perform and produce musicals to raise funds for NGOs. One of our memorable performances was our first show in Gurugram of the musical I have a Dream in April 2017, to raise funds for Cervical Cancer for CAPED (Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Early Detection). The crowd cheered and sang to all the ABBA numbers and gave us a standing ovation at the end.