Tata-Dhan Academy: PDM

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Programme in Development Management

A “Field Day” with Villagers

As part of the “Communication With Community” course, the PDM 12 batch had a “field day” with the Kezhamatayan villagers on Sunday evening, 31 July 2012. Prior to that, there was a rigorous two-day training in which activities ranged from tuning our vocal chords, to making puppets and staging a puppet play, to writing a script for a street play, to actually performing a street play!

We entered the village with some traditional instruments like a drum made of buffalo skin. Villagers were looking at us with curiosity, and as the first step, we went around the village announcing that we are going to perform some events, to gather people. When we started from the village common place, only a few people were there, but before long, people gathered in large numbers. It was Sunday evening, and we started our program by welcoming the people and it was followed by a song. The next event was one of Tamil Nadu’s finest folk arts, “Parayattam”, performed by using drums and dancing in a group. The next program was a puppet show on cleanliness. It was a small story of a family where the grandmother is talking to the children about the importance of keeping ourselves and our surroundings clean and tidy.

It was yet another different experience for us to perform “Oyilattam”, a traditional dance of Tamil Nadu. The last performance of the day was a street play about open defecation. Our program ended with another song and a vote of thanks. Still, people were not ready to leave, and were saying, ‘yeh dil maange more!’ In that way, people responded very well.

Kezhamatayan is a village near Tata-Dhan Academy. “Communication With Community” is one of the courses in term three which is the part of our professional learning. Songs, plays, dances, and similar effective communication methods–along with how to develop effective messages to sensitize people to different issues–are all part of the curiculum and pedgagogy for this course. The course teaches us how we can use such methods to attract an audience, keep their attention, and ultimately, connect better with them.

A word about making puppets: basic puppets can be easily made from materials like a balloon and newspaper strips soaked in a flour and water paste, or plaster of paris bandages. Street plays are also similarly quick to organize: no special materials or costumes are needed–just realistic scenarios and a good script in the local language.

All of the communication took place in Tamil, despite many of the PDM 12 batch members not knowing any Tamil. In the end, we performed well, and therefore proved that language is not a barrier for communicating. The success of our activities was evident from the fact that some of the young people came forward at the end of the program for further discussion about the topics we presented on.

In the end, we would like to say thanks to all, especially to those who trained us. It was really amazing that within two days, Mr. Krishnamurthy (the course faculty) and his dedicated team (Tangapandi, Partibhan, Baluchamy, and Palchamy), trained us on how to make and play with puppets, and taught us the Pareyattam folk dance of Tamil Nadu.

The experience was unforgettable. We never felt that we lost our weekly holiday!!!

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Filed under: PDM 12, ,

2 Responses

  1. Amarendra says:

    Nice to see updates about activities which happened and happening in academy.
    You, PDM-13, are fortunate that you get opportunity to do this programme in village and got experience.
    keep on going..Do not leave any chance.

  2. Amarendra says:

    Nice to see updates about activities which happened and happening in academy.
    You, PDM-12, are fortunate that you get opportunity to do this programme in village and got experience.
    keep on going..Do not leave any chance.

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