SRINAGAR: North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Patiala (Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India) in collaboration with J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages organised a 3-day National Theatre Festival from March 24 to 26 here at Tagore Hall.
Mushtaaque Ali Ahmad Khan, the festival director, in a statement said that on the concluding day, the play ‘The First Teacher’ written by the Russian writer Chingiz Aitmatov in 1962 and directed by Chakresh Kumar was staged.
The director has related the story of a city in Russia with current situation of a city Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh, India. Play is about the struggle of a teacher sent to a village by government organisation to teach the ignorant masses but the villagers instead of cooperating with him refuse to help and do not even let their children go to school.
There is a 14-year-old girl Sangeeta, an orphan, who is fascinated by the teacher and his knowledge. The girl lives with her uncle and aunt and fall preys of their backward mindset that make her marry an old man by taking lots of money. The teacher fights with all odds to rescue her from the problems. He then sends girl to the city for studies only to make her a successful when she is grown up.
The play sends a strong message of women empowerment, girl education and a fight against ignorance, backward mindset of the society which still persists in many places of the country. Ravinder Kaul was the chief guest and guest of honour were Bhawani Basheer and Zahid Mukhtar.
On the occasion, Valley’s renowned theatre director, filmmaker and the festival director Mushtaaque Ali Ahmad Khan was also honoured.
The stage was conducted by M. Ashraf Tak, Chief Editor, J&K Academy of Art, culture & Languages. The Play was appreciated by one and all.
Prof. Saubhagya Vardhan, Director, NZCC thanked everyone for making this festival a grand success. He informed that NZCC will continuously organise cultural activities in Jammu & Kashmir. He said that ‘Kashmir Natya Mahotsav’ will be organised from March 28 to 31, 2018 at Srinagar in which only Kashmiri Plays will be performed.