Theater performances can help to end violence against women, gender discrimination: Maula Bux Chandio

JAMSHORO Sep 13: A three-day Interactive Theatre Festival kicked off at Shaikh Ayaz Auditorium, University of Sindh, Jamshoro here on Tuesday.

Organized by SU’s Institute of Art & Design in collaboration with Thespians Theater, the event was inaugurated by PPP leader Maula Bux Chandio, vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat and additional commissioner Hyderabad Muhammad Khalique Mirza who represented divisional commissioner Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo.

Among others, President PAUN Jamshoro chapter Kazi Fahad, Faheem Noonari, Dr. Akhtar Hussain Moghal, director of the institute Prof. Naimatullah Khilji, Prof. Saeed Mangi, Prof. Ghulam Ali Buriro and a number of faculty and students from various departments of the varsity were in attendance in the festival. A fairly big audience attended the inaugural day of the festival.

Addressing on the occasion, the PPP leader and the chief guest of the day Maula Bux Chandio said that the theater festival highlighted social issues and sensitized masses on social problems.

“An important aspect of this kind of theater is that it leaves and raises many questions on the issues woven deep in to the fabric of society such as violence against women, gender discrimination and prevailing male chauvinistic approach”, he said and added that the questions raised during the interactive theatre helped build an interaction between the audience and artistes as spectators were often asked wherever it is required to perform a certain role in the play or answer the question raised through the theatrical performance.

He said that it was easy to make people weep as it was going on everywhere in the country. “When you watch television, read newspapers or inquire people about their financial conditions, you would find nothing but hue and cry; this is outcome of tough situations and other burning issues in the country. Under such circumstances, when somebody makes you laugh, it is really a great job”, he said.

PPP leader further said that many well-known people like Allama I.I Kazi, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah and Shaikh Ayaz had served as vice chancellors at the University of Sindh whereas he termed Dr. Burfat as a vibrant VC and said he would definitely be able to lead the Alma Mater to the heights of success.

The vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Fateh Muhammad Burfat on the occasion said that the drama festival will play an important role in highlighting and resolving social issues with correction of society through humor, thoughtful and artistic expressions.

He said that stage drama was a strong medium of education which played a vital role in transforming the societies with reflection and identification of social evils.

“This event will also promote healthy activities among the youngsters and revive the concept of theatre with an aim to promote peace love and harmony”, he maintained.

Dr. Burfat further said that the purpose of the drive was to educate women and men about gender inequality and discrimination in society and to encourage them to change this patriarchal status-quo.

Additional commissioner Hyderabad Muhammad Khaliq Mirza expressed pleasure on participating in the event and said that vice chancellor Dr. Burfat was providing the students with excellent opportunities in order that they might be able to show their talent.

He said the joint themes revolving around these performances ranged from violence against women in the private and public spaces to women’s mobility and the solutions to the challenges faced by them.

“These stories speak about women who have now attained independence in fulfilling their daily tasks, from dropping their children to school to supporting their families and getting an education,” he said.

Earlier, the Sindhi Ajraks were decorated to the guests and actors’ team which include Ayaz Ali alias Chhotu, model girl Samina, Salman, Attique, Usman alias Gl Bahar, Asadullah alias Farman, Muhammad Anwar, Sameer and Noman Mahmood. The actors acted as rickshaw driver, beggar, eunuch, model girl. Faisal Malik was director whereas Noman Mehmood is writer of the play.

Only one drama aimed at empowering and educating women was staged on the first day, Money Back Guarantee. According to the coordinator Saeed Ahmed Mangi, the theater was a symbolic play, unveiling a male chauvinistic society that just does not allow women to take decisions.

The play indicated to the issues such as women education, forced marriage, violence against women and the right of property when it comes to women.

The theater will continue today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Thursday) also. According to coordinator of the theater Prof. Saeed Ahmed Mangi, the SU students will perform in dramas which will start from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.