Recently, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and Theatre Wallay (TW) joined hands to use theater to raise awareness about issues faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs). We organized 5 performances – 3 in Islamabad, and 2 in Peshawar – of our play ‘Majboor Hum Ko Mat Kaho’ written and directed by Safeer Ullah Khan. Photos from some performances are attached.
The performances were watched by people from various walks of life including students, teaching staff of various universities including Khyber Medical University and Islamia College University, and Allama Iqbal Open University, social workers, persons with disabilities, and policymakers.
It was received really well by all and sundry. It was an engaging performance. The audience would remain glued till the very end of the play. Every performance was followed by an interaction with the audience. Many people acknowledged that the play changed their opinion about disability. Almost everyone encouraged the team to do more performances of the play. Requests have been received from Khyber Medical University, and Islamia College University to organize more performances for their students. Similarly, NGOs from Peshawar and Fatima Jinnah Women’s University Rawalpindi have also requested us to do more performances.
The most important performance was on 3rd December – International Day of the Persons with Disabilities. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA) invited Theatre Wallay to perform at their event to commemorate the Day. Senator Farhat Ullah Babar, along with other dignitaries watched the play and appreciated the team for such an enlightening play. He, too, insisted that the play must not be shelved. “It needs to be performed as many times as possible”, he said.
Theatre Wallay is open to more performances of the same play, and developing plays on other social issues.
Synopsis of the Play:
It is a story of an irresponsible journalist who does not take his job seriously and is particularly careless when asked to do a feature on disability. Hence, his editor warns him of dismissal from a job if he does not come up with something worthwhile. As he sets out to save his job, he comes across various PWDs and learns about their issues. He goes through a transformation and decides to help them. His initial attempts are a bit clumsy, but soon he learns what needs to be done. As he learns his lessons, the audiences of the play also learn their lessons about disability-related issues. The play not only highlights the issues but also provides leads toward possible solutions.
We are looking forward to more opportunities to make good use of our expertise to raise awareness and change minds.
The cast included Adil Yousuf, Ahad Ali Siddiqui, Sanaa’i Muhmmad, Zia ur Rehman, Azam Tariq, Faizan Ahmed, Shajia Saleh Soomro, Ayesha Tariq, and Ramil Aftab. The play was written and directed by Safeer Ullah Khan. Ahad Ali, and Adil Yousuf contributed to the development of the script as well.