In a bid to include all children in its monthly workshops, The Navhind Times organised a special session for under-privileged children from homes and NGOs across the state on Sunday, January 7 at Dempo House, Panaji. The children in the age group of 7 to 16 from Asro, Tivim; Novem Jeevit, alto Santacruz; El Shaddai, Assagao; Care and Compassion, Bambolim; Hamara School, St Inez and Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz participated in the half-day story-telling through drama workshop conducted by theatre activist and dentist, Sharmila Rao. About 100 children participated enthusiastically in the workshop that consisted of dance, music, acting and loads of fun.

The workshop began with participants being divided into groups followed by an icebreaker game of throw the ball. Through this activity participants briefly introduced themselves and their likes and dislikes. There was a lot of hesitation initially but further into the workshop, the children were completely at home and at ease. Sharmila conducted the workshop in English and Hindi and ensured all participants were involved in the various activities. Exercises, mimes, skits and more were included into the meticulously planned sessions.

The ice-breaker was followed by an interactive session wherein the children and Sharmila discussed the need to tell stories, the different kinds of stories and favourite stories. The story that came up as everyone’s favourite was the one, where the hero is given or faced with three challenges, overcomes them all and wins the trophy.

Next each group was asked to come up with an idea that they wanted to share with the others. The buzz and excitement as children discussed this was infectious and soon even the quiet ones were pulled into the fun and laughter. The idea that each group came up with was then developed into a story and the events and scenes were plotted. After a few theatre games to create dialogues, the students came up with their own dialogues for their story that were pertinent and creative at the same time.

In the session that followed the participants were made to understand the role of voice and vocal variety and had to incorporate that into their performance. Under the topic of space, participants explored the possibility of using space creatively. They learnt to use various levels of space, and look at their surroundings as theatre spaces, as they created dynamic and original presentations. After this the students created music and background sound using coconut shells, dandiyas and bells. A few of the participants were good musicians and used their skills to incorporate the music they had created into their play.

Issues like, saving the girl child, education for girls, cleanliness, etc were undertaken as central themes and each group used as many group members as they could to put up their plays. It was truly amazing to see the children voicing their concerns, and more interesting that they had come with solutions to overcome these concerns. The workshop ended with certificates of participation being handed out by Sharmila.


I liked that everyone worked together to create the play. Also we got to meet children from other homes and had a super and fun day with Sharmila ma’am.

Chanchal Srivastav, Care and Compassion, Bambolim

Thank you for making our day wonderful. We enjoyed it very much. Also thanks for the refreshments and for giving us the chance to meet everyone.

Nomal Madhua, El Shaddai, Assagao

I enjoyed today’s workshop but what I enjoyed the most was putting up the play and taking part in it.

Pooja Katimani, Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz

I was very lucky to get a chance to come for the workshop today. I hope that you invite all of ua again for another workshop. Thank you very much.

Basvesh, Asro, Tivim

It was a wonderful workshop and I made new friends. I learnt new things as well. It was an amazing experience. Thank you so very much.

Taheseen, Hamara School, St Inez

I love activities like these and I really enjoyed myself. Thank you, it was the best.

Shilpa, Care and Compassion, Bambolim

I liked playing and running in the hall and meeting everyone. It was good to be here.

Krishna SH, El Shaddai, Assagao

I had a very enjoyable day and enjoyed all the activities. Thank you so much.

Revathi, Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz

I liked the workshop and enjoyed all the activities. I has fun and got to meet you all. I hope that we meet again soon. Thank you so much.

Nikita, Asro, Tivim

It was such a pleasure. Initially I was feeling shy but with everyone’s support, I soon felt fine. Thank you.

Shemi, Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz

Thank you for making this day so special for me. God bless you all always.

Shilpa S, Care and Compassion, Bambolim

It was good to be here because we enjoyed with each other. Thank you for giving us this opportunity. We had lots of fun.

Topan Minj, El Shaddai, Assagao

I liked the workshop because there were many different activities like making music and different sounds, acting and dialogues I would like to attend some more of your workshops. Thank you.

Sapna Sharma, Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz

I enjoyed the workshop and playing with everyone.

Akash Chawan, El Shaddai, Assagao

Thank you for inviting us. We had so much fun with everyone.

Rahul, El Shaddai, Assagao

Please have a similar workshop as I enjoyed this one so much especially the interaction with other children.

Seema, Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz

I had so much fun that I did not want to leave. Please call us again so we can have more fun. Thank you.

Ayush, El Shaddai, Assagao

I learnt some new things today and will not forget this day. Thank you.

Deepa Shirgaonkar, Bethesda Life Centre, alto Santacruz

I got to learn how to make stories with sound and action. Thank you very much.

Nidhi Pednekar, Asro, Tivim

I was very lucky that I got a chance to come for this workshop. Next time please have some games as well.

Mira Kale, Hamara School, St Inez

Today’s workshop was good and I enjoyed the drama activities very much.

Aman VH, Novem Jeevit, alto Santacruz