It was a pleasant afternoon on the 2nd of October, 2009, when the seven of us - Rahul (V year), Lakshmi (II year), Kanika (III year), Nidhi (III year), Nishita (III year), Aqseer (III year) and Protiti (II year) – packed into a Qualis and trundled off to the SOS Children’t Village on Banerghatta Road. The sight that welcomed us there was such that it made us all stand still in awed delight – lush green and bright flowers, and happy little children everywhere!
We began the LLP with a skit highlighting the necessity of consumer awareness. Kanika portrayed a shopkeeper who sold Aqseer and Lakshmi foodstuffs that had crossed the expiry date. Our audience, which was aged between 12 and 15 years, very correctly pointed out that the customers had not checked the dates of the products before buying them and had not asked for a bill either. The methods of approaching the Consumer Fora and procedures involved therein were explained to them.
Next was a skit on Child Rights, wherein Nidhi portrayed a young girl who was being forced to marry against her wishes while she actually wanted to study further. The children pointed out that it was wrong to not let her study further. Nidhi then told them about the importance of mutual consent for marriage and a child’s Right to Education, while Protiti told them about a child’s Right against Employment and Exploitation.
The next skit depicted domestic violence wherein Protiti portrayed an abused housewife who was being economically, mentally and verbally being tortured by her mother-in-law, played by Nishitha. Rahul, who played the role of the husband, brought home a second wife, Kanika, who was preferred because she could offer higher amounts of dowry. Aqseer discussed the issues of dowry harassment and domestic violence with the children, with many interesting inputs coming from their side as well.
The last skit showed Nidhi, a domestic help, was arrested by a Protiti, playing a Police officer, late at night without a warrant. The essential conditions for arrest were explained to the children.
Nishitha then spoke to them about Legal Aid, and we distributed LSC bookmarks and Melodies! We came back with a happy and content feeling in our hearts.
- Protiti Roy