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Posted at: Oct 31, 2017, 12:53 AM; last updated: Oct 31, 2017, 12:55 AM (IST)

Wheels of change

From magic to poetry to muppets and puppets, these four boys, taking a road trip on bikes, would do whatever it takes to educate the masses on social issues
Wheels of change
Men on mission: Tejender Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Kabir Dahiya and Samunder Dhanker on their bikes

Jasmine Singh

Tejender Singh, Rajesh Kumar, Kabir Dahiya and Samunder Dhanker from Hissar, Harayana fasten their helmets, and kick star the bikes. The four young boys get ready for another road trip, which is unlike the ones that are synonymous with youngsters. Their trip that started from Hissar will end in Hissar, after they have travelled 6500 km, six states and 20 cities and villages with what they call-theatre on wheels.

A part of the Abhinaya Rang Manch, these four young boys are touring North India to make people aware of social issues—Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, AIDS, save culture, good touch and bad touch and more.

Rajesh does most of the talking as rest of the three wait patiently to fill up the gaps. “Theatre on wheels is conceptualised by Manish Joshi, the founder of Abhinaya Rang Manch. We have two bikes sponsored by Jindal Stainless, and this is more or less how we manage to spread the message,” say Rajesh.

These four boys with a back-up support of three more artistes—Manish Joshi, Alok Dutt and Brij Mohan Bhardwaj—visit various schools; go to villages with their muppet shows and play, theatrewala. “We have travelled the entire NCR, and we’ve got a great response everywhere. Our idea is to send the message across to kids, youngsters and elderly without sounding preachy. So, we use a lot of visuals and magic to do so,” adds Kabir, who is also pursuing mass communication through distant education. 

Of course, like other youngsters, they catch up on movies, world cinema mostly while travelling, they also use whatsapp, but all four feel strongly when it comes to being aware about the ills of society and ways to deal with them. If you are wondering this is something like nukkad natak, Tejender and Samunder want to add that theatre on wheel uses magic, poetry, muppets and puppets to send the message through 10 minute shows. 

“It makes it easier for the kids to understand, and for the elders we have theatrewala, a play that highlights the struggle of artistes (man and woman both),” Rajesh adds while the rest nod in approval.

The other thing that these four agree to is that theatre is life for them! “We have full support from our parents, and we know that theatre is something that we would want to do for the rest of our lives.” 

How come? Given these guys in the age bracket of 21 and 22 have a lot of time ahead to plan the course of their lives. “Our country can change if the citizens are aware, if we get rid of social evils and theatre is a means to do that... this is precisely why we would want to be associated with theatre, wheels or no wheels,” the four share a light-hearted laugh. Wheels remind us, who funds their fuel and food. “Those who get the message, those who understand what we are trying to do with theatre on wheels,” Kabir has a quick take on this. 

jasmine@tribunemail.com


Milestones

Actors of Theatre on Bikes will be visiting 20 cities, including Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Agra, Gwalior, Bhopal, Gurugram, Faridabad, Ambala, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Saharanpur, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Dehradun, Srinagar, Mandi, Manali, Kullu, Hisar, Shimla and Mussoorie.

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