Fighting drugs in Punjab through theatre

Amongst the male youth in Punjab, drugs are a serious problem today. With high unemployment rates, and a ajmer_aulakh.jpghistory of violence in the region, the environment is ripe for drug abuse. A Punjab government survey found that one out of three male students use at least a form of tobacco. And on a recent trip to the region, as we were driving between pinds, my relatives pointed out the jeeps, distinctive with their black lights, that carried young drug dealers. The young men sitting inside were all in their teens.

In response, Ajmer Aulakh, a well known Punjabi professor and writer has written a play, Avesle Yudha Di Nayika (An Unsung War Heroine), that recently attracted a large audience at the Government College for Boys in Ludhiana.

Aulakh is a noted playwright, artist and winner of Sahitya Akademi Award. He has dedicated his life to theatre and generally works on issues and problems confronting the common man. [TOI]

This much-needed play had students riveted, incorporating Punjabi poetry.

The play highlighted the menace of drugs, delineating how a family loses everything to the evil. Jodha Singh, a villager landlord, is survived by his wife and two children. Satwant Kaur, wife of Jodha Singh, wants their kids to go to school and study, but owing to drugs, the family property is lost. The play portrays the consequent struggle. It depicts how she fights odds to enable her children to continue their studies. The play was performed by artists who are part of Lok Kala Manch and was supported beautifully by Punjabi poetry. [TOI]

The college auditorium was choc-a-bloc with students, who sat gripped as the plot unfolded. The characters, with their spellbinding performance, mesmerized students, who responded to every scene with applause… Happy, a student of Government College, said these days, students are keen on watching plays and that is the reason the college auditorium was jampacked. The artists performance had students captivated till the end. Happy added that staging of such plays in the college would definitely help spread a well-meaning message against social evils. [TOI]

The play’s success leaves gives reason for hope. I hope it not only helps students to rethink their use of drugs, but also that it inspires other artists to take up social issues in their work.


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5 Responses to “Fighting drugs in Punjab through theatre”

  1. JAGROOP says:

    Drugs are like a stain on a white sheet and the white sheet is my lovely PUNJAB. We need stop those people who spread drugs in Punjab and need to put a spark in punjabi youth against drugs , only then we can see a DRUGFREE PUNJAB.

  2. JAGROOP says:

    Drugs are like a stain on a white sheet and the white sheet is my lovely PUNJAB. We need stop those people who spread drugs in Punjab and need to put a spark in punjabi youth against drugs , only then we can see a DRUGFREE PUNJAB.

  3. Rana says:

    I like the positive idea of this play. I think it sad that our youth have copied the negatives aspects of the west. Let's hope art helps change things

  4. Rana says:

    I like the positive idea of this play. I think it sad that our youth have copied the negatives aspects of the west. Let's hope art helps change things

  5. Valentina says:

    It�s difficult to get knowledgeable men and women with this topic, and you appear to be what happens you are dealing with! Thanks