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News & Information From Northeast India

Play by visually impaired students at Seagull theatre in Guwahati

It seems that Dolly Rajbongshi is the happiest soul around. Dolly is a student of class X at Guwahati Blind School and she is playing the protagonist in ‘Cinderella’, a play conceptualized and directed by Kismat Banu in Guwahati.

Bano, with her Wings Theatre, provided new lease of life to this group of visually impaired students by engaging them in theatre. The group has already performed in several places and been able to win accolades.

“Yes, I’m very happy to perform in this play. I always wanted to be a singer but this has given me a platform to showcase my acting skills as well,” an excited Dolly told The News Mill after a performance at Seagull theatre recently.

Dolly is one of the 12 actors from Guwahati Blind School who have been acting in plays under the guidance of Banu.

“We are like a family and we never felt any difference. It was a great experience indeed. I have started loving it,” said Bobeta Das, another student and actor.

Bishal Baishya, one of the youngest actors in the play is just two years of age. But he won the heart of audience with his flawless piece of acting.

For Kismat Bano, the director, working with this bunch of ‘energetic’ actors has given her the motivation and energy.

“Ever since I went to Guwahati Blind School and saw a poster of Helen Keller in the school I was impressed. I decided to do theatre with them. What I’ve learnt from them is to be happy with whatever we have in life without any expectation. Working with them has been an amazing feeling,” Banu who has been associated with these students for more than three years told The News Mill.

She is also thankful to Sangeet Natak Akademi for helping her in this endeavour. Banu said that she has to spend much time with these students to make them used to her. “Before explaining to them about the scene and the story I need to be a clear idea myself. Besides, I try to keep it simple. I have to work much in the terms of gestures with the right dialogues. Before starting production I go and spend time with them talking, playing cricket, having panipuri and some of them even ride my scooty too within the campus,” she added.

In 2015, she staged ‘Puhor’ (light) and in 2016 ‘Xapun’ (dream) with the students of Guwahati Blind School.

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