Putting together The Greatest Show on Earth!
Why do teachers only value kids who score well in the exams? Why are my friends looked down upon and constantly underestimated? These questions had dominated Rohit’s mind for a very long time. As all these thoughts worried him, it was 22nd June, when an idea struck him. Today, a year down the line, the seeds he sowed back then have bloomed into a flower, in the form of Team Umang, a theatre group committed to providing an opportunity for kids who are ignored by the education system while also providing a platform to express and shine through arts. We began with a team of 4 and now, the group consists of 24 young artists from Akanksha Schools, Teach For India classrooms, iTeach schools and Avasara academy. We all came from very different backgrounds and experiences, each one of us brought something unique to the group.
With such an ambitious army of artists, we set into action with a vision that one day we will perform at the Wembley stadium. We performed street plays on alcoholism and flash mobs on patriotism as well as led workshops on environment conservation.
Being such a large team, there was no lack of differences. There were days when we would not look one another in the eye! We had team members who were short-tempered, lacked belief in their ability and even refused to listen to anyone. Opinions differed which led to debates, arguments and fights. We went days and weeks not talking to each other. But today, things had turned upside down!
If you ask the group why and how then only one response that echoes is ‘Magic’. It was magical to see everyone take on the responsibility to understand and respect each other. As a group, we had many peaceful conversations and reflection circles, that have brought us to where we are today. It wasn’t a theatre group anymore, but a family of loved ones. And it wasn’t just Rohit’s dream anymore, but a collective goal of the family. It was only the love, care and trust we hold in one another that truly made it The Greatest Show on Earth!