On the 15th of December, Gyaan Adab invited the women Gyaan Ruchi works with for a fun Sunday program.
Hina Siddiqui, programming head here at Gyaan Adab, then held a small activity with the women. Doing classic theatre exercises to break the ice, the women broke out of the shells with shrieks of joy and awe. A passing-the-wave activity was a hit with the ladies as it sped up with each repetition of the circle they stood, the last and fastest rotation had then rolling with laughter. A small discussion followed, where the women and Hina took up the subject of the importance of women and their presence in society, inciting only the already existing opinions they already had about empowerment.
The Kalyani Nagar SWAP team was in space for the day as well, and set up many home items that had been lovingly donated and collected, for the use of the women. From stoves and chulhas to cleaning products, clothes and kitchen utensils, the spread was well thought out, and saw a lot of items find new homes.
The SWAP team then put up a small performance on the subject of cleanliness. To put a spotlight on the amount of waste we generate on a daily basis and its adverse impact on our environment, Band Bajaa Dey was a scrap band performance where they used everyday items like water jugs and thermocol blocks to create a medley of instruments over which they sang in tune to classic Hindi songs. With lyrics twisted to incite action to be more eco-friendly, the song was easy to sing along to, and gave many examples of small actions one can take.
After a quick lunch, we set up a dance workshop with team member, Alakananda Chatterjee, who taught the women an easy choreography to Pingaa, from the film Bajirao Mastani. It was an absolute treat to see the joy on the women’s faces as they danced their socks off, shedding the shyness they stepped into space with. They blew us away with their own dance routines after the workshop, gliding across the floor in their bedazzled sarees and kurtas to quintessential Marathi songs. Graceful moves intertwined with the beauty of their joy and they showed off what they had; all the women cheered on the ones performing. Alka Tai, Gyaan Adab’s household help, brought in her niece who put up a lovely performance of Ghoomar.
The program was incredibly fun, and all the women went home with smiles on their faces from a day well spent. The Gyaan Adab team itself found itself incredibly humbled, and given much perspective on the true meaning of what the Heroine’s journey is; not something exclusive, but a journey we all must make.