While one of the gates of the National Games Village was swamped with people dressed in colourful costumes eagerly waiting to enter the Comic Con 2013, at the other gate were 10 volunteers dressed in black t-shirts trying to grab some attention to raise awareness on the right of children to free and compulsory education - Right To Education Act. The volunteers of Child Rights and You (CRY), who were beating drum-rolls, also raised slogans and urged parents to send their children to school. Enacting small excerpts on the benefits of education in schools and anganwadis, the volunteers interacted with the parents and asked them to enrol their children in schools in their localities.
The play, which was divided into four incidents, stressed the importance of education and its link with child labour, government responsibilities, and reasons for low enrolment rates.
The street play was staged across six locations on Sunday as a run-up to the Anti-Child Labour Day observed on June 12. Thangamma Monnappa, Senior Manager of CRY-Bangalore, who is a part of the campaign, said that the implementation of the RTE Act had taken a backseat, though it has been over three years since it was enacted.
Elaborating upon the condition of the people from low economic backgrounds, Nischal Mothkuri, a volunteer, said that education could put an end to most of their problems.
At the end of the play, a large number of children and young women huddled around the volunteers and enquired about the closest school and learnt more about the registration process.