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SETU's Kamala - Fundraiser For Ekal

Ranjani Saigal

SETU,  a non-profit community theater group presented the famous Vijay Tendulkar play “Kamala”, a complex tale that weaves several women’s right issues holding the flesh trade of tribal women at its core.  SETU used the play as a fundraiser for to support the running of single teacher schools in remote rural villages in India.  SETU partnered with IAGB and Ekal for this effort. 

Two shows were hosted on Saturday, Sep 16 and Sunday Sep 17 at the Belmont Hall Theater in Belmont, MA.  The show opened with a light-hearted comedy skit OUTNOB - Once Upon a Time NOT in Bollywood and some colorful and fun Bollywood dance sequences – representing the very core of Indian weddings. 

After a brief presentation by Ekal Vidyalaya and IAGB, State Senators William N. Brownsberger and James B. Eldridge addressed the audience and expressed their appreciation for the tremendous work done by Ekal. 

After a brief intermission, Kamala – the main presentation of the evening was featured.  The tale is set in the home of a male chauvinistic journalist, who engages in sensational journalism to expose a variety of ills.  While he is exposing the evil of the flesh trade and how poorly tribal women are treated, he himself sees nothing wrong in using the woman as evidence for his tale and treating her as a mere object.  The incident also brings light his male chauvinistic side to his wife who until then has not noticed this. The play is a masterpiece by Vijay Tendulkar who used a real incident to share the plight of women from different classes in Indian society, 

Each character was depicted masterfully by the cast and crew. Subrata Das as the journalist, Jeyanthi Bandopadyay as his wife Sarita, Rohini Pola as the maid and Aditi Taylor as Kamala delivered a fine performance. The other roles were played by different people on different days were done to perfection as well. 

While the play was applauded for its professionalism, the team was delighted to have raised significant funds through the presentation to support children getting education in remote rural villages. When artists use their art to directly impact a cause the world can only beome a better place. 

The Crew

Lighting Design……..Prateek Paul
Music……..Pra Deep
Stage Design.......... Rohini Pola, Jayanti Bandyopadhyay
Tickets Management..........Aneesha Karody, Nirmal Kumar
Backstage……..Deven Atnoor, Noorain Buxamusa
Posters……..Harun Razith, Kabita Das 
Video & Photography……..Ganesh Davaluri, Sanjay Kudrimoti
Original Playwright……..Vijay Tendulkar
Script Editing ……..On Priya Adarkar’s translation from Marathi
Direction ……..Subrata Das

Publicity Team: Ravi Nimmagadda, Nirmal Kumar, Dipali Trivedi, Janique Choux-Das, Sugandha Gopal, Mala Krishnamurthy

Organizing Team: Aneesha Karody, Parveen Minocha, Ranjani Saigal, Jayashree Deshmukh Voruganti, Pushpa Baskaran, Zehra Khan, Rekha Palriwala, Nirmal Kumal, Aditi Taylor, Ravi Nimmagadda, Jayanti Bandyopadhyay, Subrata Das, Yogita Miharia

Masters of Ceremony: Yogita Miharia and Sridhar Pola

Poem Recitation: Purvi Shah

Folk Dances
Anusha Maltesh, Mayuri Janapareddy, Thanu Lakshmi Natrajan, Ishita Rao, Nikita Rao

Wedding Skit Dancers……..Monisha Prakash, Swasti Bhargava, Nikita Rao
Piano and Dance……..Ananya Chatterjee, Gunjan Malhotra
Dr. Natarajan……..Rich industrialist……..Sanjay Kudrimoti
Mr. Lohia……..Rich industrialist……..Rishi Naik
Mr. Birla……..Rich industrialist……..Nilay Mukherjee
Mrs. Saha……..Rich industrialist……..Mandy Pant
Piyali……..Poor house-worker……..Ridhima Mahajan
Meera……..Poor house-worker……..Kumkum Pareek Malik
Geeta……..Tribal house-worker……..Japneet Kwatra
Ruchi Verma……..Middle-class housewife……..Ananya Chatterjee
Alka Sinha……..Middle-class housewife……..Purvi Shah
Shilpa Kapoor ……..Middle-class housewife……..Gunjan Malhotra
Choreographers: Pooja Tiwari, Monisha Prakash, Nikita Rao

Kamala Cast

Sarita (Housewife) Jayanti Bandyopadhyay
Kamala (Tribal woman) Aditi Taylor
Meerabai (Maidservant) Rohini Pola
Kakasaheb (Sarita’s uncle) Mahesh Palriwala, Ravi Kacker*
Jain (Journalist) Ravi Nimmagadda, Nilay Mukherjee*
Jaisingh (Sarita’s journalist husband) Subrata Das
Dancers and bar singers Shikha Bajpai, Purbi Rana, Swasti B.
* double casting  (one show each)

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