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Jalpaiguri’s Maxima Toppo uses street plays to create Corona awareness for tea garden workers

16 June, 2020 05:15:48
Jalpaiguri’s Maxima Toppo uses street plays to create Corona awareness for tea garden workers

Theatre is an integral part of the Indian ethos, sharing a long symbiotic relationship dating 5,000 years ago. Theatre evolved with time. Street Plays or “Nukkad Natak” has evolved as means to voice the concerns of the common man. It has also become the new weapon to ward off Coronavirus. 

With the advent of Covid-19, both government and non-government agencies across the country have been campaigning vigorously to sensitize the masses about the pandemic, ways to prevent and slow down its transmission. Now with the return of migrant workers to their home states during prolonged lockdown, cases of Covid-19 have shot up drastically. In a bid to protect the society from infection, the female work force of Jalpaiguri tea gardens has come up with a novel idea -- the tribal ladies have conceived a play and are performing it on street corners to teach people about precautionary measures they ought to take  to keep the deadly infection at bay and save not only oneself but also the family and society at large. 

Maxima Toppo has written a play, Corona Bhagao Desh Bachao (Ward Off Cornona, Save the Country), both in colloquial Hindi and local Sadri language and it is being enacted by the female workers of Gayerkata Tea Gardens. Rostang Vera dons the role of the evil virus who meets its nemesis in the battleground comprising a group of valiant doctors and police officials. 

Toppo and her colleagues aim to increase awareness among the people with the play. "We want people to realize about how Covid-19 is spreading in an alarming rate across the globe. Through the street play, we are making the mostly-illiterate workers understand how the virus spreads and urging them to take safety measures by maintaining proper hygiene and social distancing," Toppo said. “We are also trying to ensure that Covid-19 does not spread among the people in the area as some migrant returnees might be infected with the novel coronavirus," she added.

The initiative has come to the notice of the district administration. Jalpaiguri District Magistrate Abhishek Tiwari lauded the venture and said in a recent news report, “These women have taken a very good initiative in such a remote and backward area. More such awareness campaigns by locals in their communities are necessary to eradicate Covid-19. We will try to sanction some funds to these women who are spending from their own pockets, to keep the good work going. They can be instrumental in inspiring other locals to join the movement at the grassroots level.”  

Story Tag:
  • Maxima Toppo

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