Our initiative of Unified Theater, which is in collaboration with Special Olympics Bharat, is the first of its kind in India. Unified Theatre has been practiced in the Western countries for last few years but it is the first time that it is happening in India. This concept brings together children with and without disabilities, where nothing including gender, caste or ability forms a barrier. This helps them develop their cognitive empathy towards each other’s thoughts, feelings and perceptions and is also a step towards their psychosocial development. The concept of Unified Theatre is loosely based on Unified Sports.
Through this project we provide inclusive theatre-based education to children (street children, slum children, dropouts and child labourers) and children with disabilities. Our main aim is to develop a module for Unified Theatre based on deconstructing gender, caste and ability. It is not unknown how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the psychosocial development of children, especially children from the marginalized communities and children with disabilities. We took inspiration from the work of Special Olympics and thought of starting a new form of inclusive education which ultimately took the shape of Unified Theatre.
The participants are trained by an inclusion specialist. Classes are held in the hybrid model on the different aspects of theater (for example, script writing, dialogue delivery, expressions etc). We are organizing public space performances to spread awareness on different societal issues and are also conducting impact assessment surveys to map the development of all the participants.
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