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Suresh Conducting a Workshop

Collaborative Workshops

External Workshops

Internal Workshops

Community Workshops with Children and Youth

Children's Workshop Participants



























































Collaborative Workshops

Since May 2007, VIDYA has been facilitating Practical Skills Training Self-Sustainability Workshops with Jan Shikshan Sansthan (Gujarat University) across the slums of Ahmedabad. The goal of these workshops is to provide women and girls of the slums communities with practical training and skills in the safety of their own community so they can become financially independent and self-sustainable. In May and June, VIDYA conducted a candle-making and mukhwaas making workshop because the demand for candles and mukhwaas are constant throughout the year and especially during the holidays and wedding seasons.
Since July, VIDYA has been facilitating a four-month workshop teaching sewing to women and young girls. The ability to sew is a very important and useful skill that women can carry with them irrespective of location. The demand for clothes is universal and the need is constant - women can make their own clothes and/or make them for the market, helping women earn an income and save money.

In July 2007, VIDYA conducted a Women's Empowerment Result-Oriented Workshop for Chaitanya Charitable Trust in Jamnagar, Gujarat with 30 local women aged 18 to 90. The women were only aware of folk songs at the beginning of the workshop but by the end they had learned about self-development, awareness, sustainability and empowerment through Theatre and Theatre-techniques. They also performed small role-plays on issues they were encountering in their respective communities. Creative games, exercises, debates, theme-based discussions, etc. were used to make the women aware of their movements, personal aggression, conflicts and how to resolve issues and face their aggression through dialogue and Theatre. The participants learned how to create dialogues, self-help groups, about self-sustainability, banking, saving concepts, how to raise their voices and express themselves.

Between October and December 2004, Vidya participated in a series of workshops in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Kerala (Trivandrum and Trichur) organised by Prof. Ralph Yarrow, University of East Anglia, UK with support from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Board. VIDYA was presented as a model of successful practice to other organisations and individuals working in the field of Theatre and Development in different regions of India. The workshops provided a platform to share information, ideas, skills and future plans. And discuss needs and problems, and possible ways of addressing them. So that a network can be formed to exchange resources. A large number of groups from across the country (as well as Bangladesh) attended these events. This was a great opportunity for VIDYA to showcase their methodology and interact with others doing similar work in different contexts.


External Workshops

In April-May 2004, Artistic Director Manisha Mehta participated in the UNESCO-endorsed Earth Symposium in Vancouver. This event, an international initiative of The Earth Project was presented by DanceArts Vancouver in association with the Simon Fraser University. Ms Mehta presented VIDYA’s work in a Show and Tell session of the Symposium. In August 2004, Ms Mehta revisited Vancouver to participate in Level 1 and Level 2 of a Forum Theatre Training Workshop entitled ‘Theatre for Living’ organized by Headlines Theatre. Again in 2006, Manisha and 3 of VIDYA's members presented VIDYA at The World Urban Festival in Vancouver, Canada. VIDYA's members performed "Songs for the Community" at the festival.

In Feb 2006, VIDYA had organized two days workshop at Behavioural Science Centre, for feild outreach workers to give them knowledge about how to be successful in working with the communNity with the help of theatre. VIDYA had imparted them with the right techniques and skills related to theatre, which can bring attitudinal change in the community.

In 2008,Ms.Manisha Mehta conducted workshop with the teachers under the SERVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN at Trivendram.

In 2009,Ms. Manisha Mehta along with the VIDYA peer members conducted workshop with NIRIKSHA for Women's Empowerment at Trivendram.


Internal Workshops

  • Between November 2003 and January 2004, the VIDYA Management conducted a workshop for some members of the Performance Company on Project Presentation. This included a period of field-work during which participants had to present VIDYA to 5 NGOs in Ahmedabad. The purpose was to equip the performers with theoretical knowledge and skills, as well as practical experience in preparing presentations, speaking in public about our work and networking with other organizations on behalf of VIDYA.
  • In February 2004, John Martin, Artistic Director, Pan Centre for Intercultural Arts, UK conducted a 4-day workshop with the Peer Group on making and using masks in performance.
  • In January 2005, Mr. Parry Singh, Computer Specialist conducted a training session in basic computer application skills for our Office Assistant and 2 Performers.
  • In February 2005, Mr. Shailya Shah, Yoga Expert conducted a 10-day workshop with the entire VIDYA team. This intensive training in Yoga and Meditation proved to be very useful in breaking the routine of regular work (that can sometimes get monotonous), increasing levels of concentration and exercising their bodies, minds and souls.

Community Workshops with Children & Youth

Every summer from 2002 onwards, VIDYA has been conducting theatre workshops for around 60 children and youth from different slums in Ahmedabad. The workshops take place simultaneously in selected areas over 3 weeks. The Peer Group Performance Company is divided into smaller groups in order to facilitate these workshops.

The training includes theatre skills like basic voice and body work, as well as the creation of message-based plays through games, exercises and storytelling. Performance pieces are built focussing on issues recommended by the participants. These may be matters of local relevance or other concerns that they want explore. Often, storylines are inspired from popular fables and folk tales. 

The workshops culminate in an ‘event’ where the different groups put up the plays they have produced. In 2004 the performances were held in the premises of the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad and received a lot of appreciation from a large audience of both children and adults. All participants receive certificates from VIDYA

Several youngsters have participated regularly in these summer workshops and look forward to them with great enthusiasm. Gradually, a number of young performers are steadily associating with VIDYA. In 2005, VIDYA trained nearly 70 children. The children then displayed all that they had learned in a programme, “Udaan”. 

The following short plays were performed by children trained by VIDYA:

  • Navannu Rupiya: a story of values, honesty, integrity, helpfulness, using money as a symbol of realization and learning.  Performed by young people from Punjidas ni Chali, Naroda
  • Rani vagar no Raja: about play about women’s right to participate in social and public life.  Performed by young people from Jawaan Nagar, Naroda Patiya
  • Khoto Rupiya: on the transience of all things fake and the survival of truth.  Performed by young people from D-Colony, Naroda
  • Madhav ni Matli: highlighting the necessity of education and following the right path.  Performed by young people from Gulbai Tekra
  • Swacchata Abhiyan: a play on sanitation and hygiene.  Performed by young people from different areas of Eastern Ahmedabad who have been working with us regularly
  • Vidya: About our core concern - girl-child welfare. It was performed by VIDYA's Peer Group Performance Company

Children's Workshop Performance

Click here to see the All Our Activities Completed From 2002 to Present

Workshop Planning


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