Dalits and tribals across Gujarat will witness the heroic acts of unsung hero Savitri Jyotiba Phule through a vachikam (verbal) play that will be performed at 78 locations of the state during the next one month.
The female activist had not only attended school in the 1830s, but had started a school for Dalits, marginalised communities and women of the country. The play’s objective is to motivate people, mainly women, to get educated and make a difference to the society.
The play on Savitri Phule will be performed in over 12 districts with the help of Dalit and tribal leaders as well as gram panchayats. Directed by Nisarg Trivedi and performed by Aditi Desai, Raksha Nayak and Indu Rohit – a Dalit girl herself – the play created a remarkable impact during its first performance at Gujarati Sahitya Parishad on Thursday.
The play has been jointly crafted by Pakshiki, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad and Jaswant Thakar Memorial Trust, while its performance across the state will be organised by Navsarjan Trust.
Talking to DNA, Manjula Pradeep, managing director of Navsarjan, said that few know about Savitri Phule, who fought against the Indian caste system and went on to study. “We want all the marginalised communities to know about her heroic acts and get motivated,” she said.
As it is a verbal play and a solo performance, the single participating actor will stay in the houses of Dalits and tribals, before actually performing for them. Talking to DNA, Desai, one of the performers, said, “These performances are mainly to motivate the women and men in the marginalised communities to learn from Savitri Phule.”
The play depicts social contributions of Phule, such as the setting up of a school for kids in the 1830s, starting a hostel for poor kids, her struggle to get drinking water for people and her work for plague patients. “Today every woman who has not studied believes that she is of no use, but she can get inspired with Savitri Phule to do something respectable in her life,” Desai said.