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VIDYA was formed in 2000 with the purpose of training sixteen slum dwellers as a professional company of performers, educators, political activists, and workshop leaders. This has provided permanent employment and valuable skills to these individuals, as well as facilitate their ability to promote critical consciousness and practical solutions within their own communities and beyond. In working towards these goals, the company has been guided by the very influential theatrical methodology developed by Brazilian director Augusto Boal and his pedagogy of Forum Theatre. In starting its work in the slums of Ahmedabad, VIDYA had to first launch an extensive research project (in collaboration with local NGOs) in order to establish which communities would benefit most from the company’s work. VIDYA’s initial research (funded by the British Lottery) focused on gathering statistical data that detailed the socio-economic status of local women, as well as a spectrum of issues relevant to those living in extreme poverty: levels of literacy, child labour, family incomes, alcoholism, and nutrition, as well as incidents of domestic violence.

Out of this process, VIDYA established a working relationship with eight slum areas in Ahmedabad. While continuing its relationship with these original communities, more recently the company has expanded its work by initiating collaboration in twenty eight new areas of the city.

Since 2003, VIDYA has been busy organizing educational projects, script-writing workshops, many performances, as well as a variety of intriguing programs targeting community development and the dissemination of creative solutions to issues afflicting ’s poorest citizens. While incorporating itself in 2000, Vidya has moved forward to establish its own identity as an independent charitable trust foundation. The company continues to perform regularly in various communities in Ahmedabad, collaborate with other performance societies and NGOs, as well as produce a yearly tour of India’s largest urban centres: Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Trivendrum, & Trichur In the 2005 season, VIDYA expanded its theatrical and educational programs in India, while organizing a groundbreaking tour that will take the company to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. In 2006, VIDYA went further by performing structured plays in twenty-eight slums across Ahmedabad, click here to see all of our activities to-date.

Vidya's Milestone Group
VIDYA's Original Group

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Manisha S. Mehta Mojisola Adebayo