Role play is one of the key teaching elements in our summer camps happening across the villages. Children are enjoying the creation of a grand spectacle in front of their local audiences. The theatre productions mark the finale of their days together.
The story is that of Dhruv, a young prince who underwent severe tapas in search of Lord Vishnu at the tender age of five. He needed the Lord’s help with a family issue. Dhruv even went for six months without food or drink. Finally Vishnu appeared to him, but the child had spent such a long time in fixed meditation, he could not remember his original request. He only asked for a life in memory of God.
Pleased by Dhruv’s prayers, Vishnu granted the wish and further decreed that the boy would attain a state where he would become a celestial body, untouched by the matters of the world. Dhruv Taara, also known as Polaris and the North Star, is famous for holding nearly still while the entire northern sky moves around it.
Role play is a productive teaching tool because it gives students the opportunity to practise a situation that they may encounter in their lives. It helps them gain empathy for others, both culturally and historically. It allows them to see how they react to a situation “in the moment” and also change attitudes and behaviours when needed. Finally, it gives the children the chance to experience a different perspective on life and to think creatively.
Audiences report having been completely charmed by the productions, both from the performance level and from the perspective of watching their village children take on such confidence and joy in the telling of Dhruv’s story.