Thursday, December 15, 2005

A man and a few buffaloes

Manimekalai was a very shy girl when I met her couple of months back. Daughter of a bus driver from a low income household in Krishnagiri. She should be 16 years old.

Manimekalai and a team of 15 girls from similar backgrounds form the first team of children who have been selected and trained for our "Eastside Story" project. A joint initiative of UNICEF and NalandaWay.

This team performed a "street play" recently at the World Aids Day Campaign on Dec 3rd at Chennai. The event was organized by CII (most influential industrial association in India). The play was scripted, acted and directed by the girls themselves.

The team won the second prize among 16 schools and colleges all from the city.

"Thank you for recognising us and firing our imagination that we can be possible", goes the thank you note that Manimekalai had written along with a book that she gifted me. The book is a Tamil novel titled "A man and a few buffaloes" by Gyanpeeth Awardee Jayakanthan.

I would like to recognize and thank Mr. Thomas George of UNICEF and Ms. Stella of CII without whom this event wouldn't have been possible.

The photographs of the girls' performance are available for viewing at

Gallery: Street Play at CII World Aids Day Event


Sriram Ayer

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