In lieu of the upcoming Mental Health Awareness Week, students from the psychology department organised a Nukkad Natak or a Street Play next to the Nescafe of the college. Given an appropriate title “Chand panno mein Zindagi” or “Life in a few Glimpses”, the street play explored the plethora of issues that revolve around the treatment of individuals with mental health issues, especially stigmatization by the society in the form of a satire. The story revolved around how a young boy called Paras, who had mild mental intellectual deficiency, coped with his peers, faced the brunt of his parents, as well as other individuals in life. The play also portrayed major problems that are present in our society: Lack of acceptance with regard to mental health issues as well as lack of knowledge of how to provide proper help to such individuals and how people suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder or substance abuse disorder or even schizophrenia are just thought of as good for nothing individuals who are “abnormal” and should not be associated with. The play also illustrated the cant of self proclaimed god-men that still exists in our country in this day and age and how superstitions still persist in our society of how only god-men can help “rid” such people of their idiosyncratic behaviour. The main agenda of the play was to make people understand the importance of not stigmatizing individuals but rather providing them with the required psychological assistance. The nukkad natak was definitely well received by the crowd because right from the beginning of the call song people joined in to see what it was all about and stayed put right till the end. The energy and ebullience projected by the participants was well caught on by the crowd and you could feel a sense of delight lingering about as they cheered on during the entertaining parts of the play. At the end of the play each one was left with a sense of purpose and a message to fight for a cause and was cordially invited to be a part of Mental Health Awareness Week!
Reported By – Archisha Bhattacharjee
Photo Credits: Akshita Negi