Street play against begging by children

In public gaze.

In public gaze.  

IT was a play against begging by children. Staged by the members of Don Bosco Snehanilayam, "Eriyunna Shalabangal", the street play, provided some food-for-thought to the public who strolled into the Children's Park in Kochi on Sunday.

The play lasted about 30 minutes but made a deep impression on the evils of begging by children among parents who came to the park with their children to enjoy the evening.

Directed by Manoj of the Snehanilayam, the play sent out a strong message to the public against the growth of begging by children in Kerala.

The impact of the play on the public was clear from the words of Antony Issac, Chairman of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), who inaugurated the programme.

"As many as eight children forced into begging were rescued from various parts of the city after the staging of the street play. We need to fight unitedly against this social evil," Mr.Issac said.

The play narrated the story of a boy who runs away from home because he does not get the love and care of his parents. "We wanted to say that family problems could be one of the reasons for children running away from their homes," Manoj, who directed the play, said.

The boy, who reaches the streets, get caught in the web of begging. His mentors torture him physically and force him into the trade. Children are sold like commodities in the open market for big money.

They are taken to festivals and religious places. And are punished severely for not bringing in the "expected amount" for their mentors. The play ends with the actors urging the public to make all efforts possible to check this social menace.

"We would be staging this play in various parts of the city in the coming days. Pamphlets are being distributed to the public seeking their support for this venture," Varghese Pynadath of Don Bosco Snehabhavan said.

Young artists participating in the play also urged the public to ring 1098 (Childline) when they spot children involved in begging in the city.

"The public may be giving alms to the children out of compassion. But you do a social service by saving them from this menace," says Fr.Varghese. The young team of artists from Snehanilayam have already made their mark in the field of theatre.

"We have already staged around 15 plays. Social issues have been the theme for most of these plays," Manoj said. Other young artists in the group include Babu, Yasar, Johny, Biju, Jaymon, Jineesh, Josy, T.S. Binu and Ronald.

By Krishnakumar G

Photo: Johney Thomas

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