Life skills training of 300 girls in Mumbai slums

by Vacha Charitable Trust
Oct 23, 2012

Vacha girls - Gaining & disseminating information

Girls participate in theater workshop
Girls participate in theater workshop

Greeting from Vacha team and  Vacha girls. 

This phase has been eventful for the girls having attended workshops, gone on educational visits and participated in discussions and debates.

A two day workshop on street theatre was organised in Pisavli community, which not only taught the basics of street theatre to the girls but also helped them become more confident about performing. There were games and songs and many exercises that channelized the collective energy of more than 40 girls towards expressing themselves through theatre. These girls - most of whom had never before performed in front of people - wrote, prepared and presented three different plays in three different areas surrounding their settlement at the end of the workshop. These plays were all on the issues surrounding girls’ education such as lack of money, families giving little importance to educating their daughters, etc. that become obstacles to girls going to school. After the performances, the girls asked their audience – which comprised people like the girls’ own families - what they thought of the issues raised. Women and men alike appreciated the girls’ efforts and asked them to perform more such plays to raise awareness.

Other than this, there was a workshop organised for the two centres in Malwani community on anti-superstition, or the futility of believing blindly in superstitions. It was shown to the girls how self-appointed religious gurus trick people into believing their magical powers, but that these powers are nothing but sleight of hand. Demonstrations of how this ‘magic’ is actually done were given. Whenever people face any obstacles to their work they tend to go to these fake religious gurus to get their problems solved. It was shown how fraudulent these gurus are. The girls were impressed and for many, this was a revelation of sorts. They now plan to take their new found awareness to the people in their community through some sort of presentation of their own.

Lastly, girls of Netivali community were taken on an educational visit to the nearby police station. This was the first time they had entered the feared premises of a police station and were slightly mollified at finding some of the police to be quite friendly. A woman police officer explained the processes of registering a complaint at the station. They witnessed this process first hand when a family entered and interacted with the police to register their complaint. But what interested the girls the most was a room full of guns! It saddened them a bit when they were not allowed to touch them.

There were also regular sessions taken where among other things, girls debated the entry of FDI in retail in India on the one hand and learnt to read the world map on the other.

Girls perform street theater
Girls perform street theater
Girls raise issues with audience
Girls raise issues with audience

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Organization Information

Vacha Charitable Trust

Location: Mumbai, Maharashtra - India
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Sonal Shukla
Mumbai, Maharashtra India

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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