Students of the Government Higher Primary School in Kavoor laughed and giggled their way through a short skit about a child being sold, clapped spontaneously when the police took away the “child sellers”.

The play was staged by a group of students from the school, who were trained by resource persons Mounesh Vishwakarma from Bantwal and Krishnaiah from Belthangady. They were trained as a part of a camp organised by Prajna Counselling Centre to spread awareness about the rights of children. This was the 13th of 15 schools participating in the three-day camp.

Around 200 children of the school eagerly watched as their fellow school mates enacted the roles of teachers, parents, “child sellers”, and children. When a boy dressed as a teacher in white dhoti and kurta walked up to the stage, a delighted shout went up from the audience.

One boy who played the role of the “chief child-seller” exuded confidence on the stage, and played the “bad guy” remarkably well. The short play depicted a story on how children were in school, and three unscrupulous characters con their parents into handing over their children. The parents had believed that they would be given Rs. 1,000 for each child and that they would be given free food and clothing, if the parents gave up their children.

So, the children were unwillingly taken away from school and to a market where two “good people” came to their rescue and told the parents that their children would be sold and made to work. Realising their mistake, the parents summon the police who arrested the child-sellers .

Although regular costumes were used, the children were comletely engrossed in the story. The same group of 24 children sang a Kannada song and danced to a Tulu song based on the rights of children and human values.

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