The 90-minute play will be performed by women who are survivors of trafficking or rescued children of sex-workers from Mumbai's red-light areas.

Mumbai-based NGO Krantis play Lal Batti Express to be performed in ChennaiFacebook/Kranti
news Event Friday, January 10, 2020 - 11:16

“Inspire, expand and adapt… these are the three pillars of our philosophy,” begins Mahima Poddar adding, “We want to inspire people with stories, expand the current notion of kindness and adapt all of it into life. We have a very skewed concept of kindness right now. In the current context, we only talk about religious inclusion but we also need to talk about social inclusiveness.”

Ahead of the Kindness Festival, a two-day event that will be celebrated the world over in August every year, a Chennai-based NGO called the Kindness Project is organising monthly events in the city, leading up to the main event. Mahima Poddar, its founder, shares with TNM that as its first event, Lal Batti Express (Red Light Express), a street play by Mumbai-based NGO Kranti, will be performed in Chennai.

Kranti is a women’s rights NGO that empowers women from Mumbai’s red-light area to become agents of social change. Robin Chaurasiya, its co-founder says the play is not a presentation but an interactive experience. “The play is put up by women who are survivors of trafficking or rescued children of sex-workers. The play is based on their real-life experiences and is not just a presentation. It is an interactive experience where the audience gets to interact with those on stage,” she explains.

The 90-minute play will be a journey of collaborative learning for both the audience and the artists, she adds. “We’ve been performing this for over 5 years now and it has never been the same. The girls are constantly evolving. Some have moved out for their education and new girls have joined the play. It is always very dynamic,” she explains.

A group of 12 women between 16 and 25 years of age will be performing in Chennai on January 11 at Mutha Venkata Subbarao Hall. Tickets to the show can be bought here.

Mahima, who is putting together the entire experience, shares that more such unique events will be planned every month in the city. “The kindness week takes place every February. We’ve got ‘back to school adventure for adults’, a special kind of an art auction, treasure hunt, and more planned for every month leading up to the festival,” she says.

Last year, The Kindness Project introduced vouchers that would enable those from marginalised sections of the society to avail a particular service for free. “Many of them loved the idea and the kindness voucher was a hit throughout the year. For instance, a beauty salon voucher will make it possible for someone to enjoy a free haircut or any spa treatment, something that they may not be able to afford on their own,” she adds.

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