Activities are a very important part of CSA. Thus, we had a team building activities hour for the new members. The members were split into five groups. The older members chose the social topic “School Dropouts” for which each group had to do a five minute presentation. Through these presentations, they had to show their views on why students drop out of school. The presentations could be a speech, a skit, a song or a written presentation. All groups chose to do skits, and decided names for their groups.
Group 1 – Boss did a skit on the difference between a “good” student and a “bad” student. The good student who had an interest in learning and being attentive in class was able to achieve a lot in life. The distracted student however had no interest in joining school. He was forced by his mother to attend school, but in classes he does not pay attention and always disturbed others. He finally dropped out of school, and tried to find a job for himself, which he was not able to get due to poor educational qualifications.
Group 2 – Revolutionaries, through their play, wanted to show how students become dropouts, which they felt were due to environmental factors. In their play, the student, Asha, wished to study and always did well in her class. However, her family life wasn’t so good. Her family discouraged her from studying. Her step-mother made her do all the chores at home, and her father beat her for studying. Unable to handle her family life, she dropped out of school and left her home. She found a cleaning job in a store. While doing her job, her school friends saw her and teased her for being a school dropout. The group wanted to emphasise on how environment often leads to children dropping out.
Group 3 – Active Citizen in their skit, showed how the economic condition of the students family could affect their education. The student in the skit paid a visit to the principal, where she begs the principal for more time to pay the fees. The students went home to ask her father for money, but the father dismissed her requests and took the money her mother earned and spent it on alcohol. When the student was unable to pay her fees, the principal expelled her from school. The student was crying, when a few CSA volunteers saw her and decided to help her out. The CSA volunteers talked to her father, and the father, finally realised the fault in his ways paid for the child’s education.
Group 4 – Farz, Our Duty started their skit with a scene where a man stole a woman’s purse but got caught and sent to jail. His children were very affected by this. The news of their father being a thief spread, and the other children in their school teased and bullied them. They dropped out, feeling utterly humiliated and embarrassed about their father’s actions. The students began to work, where they were spotted by CSA volunteers. The CSA volunteers helped them out. They ended their skit with the song Give Me Some Sunshine from 3 Idiots (movie).
The last group, Group 5 – Identity, did a skit on child labour being the main cause of school dropouts. The mother earned the money in the house which the father spent on alcohol. The child did not have any money saved up for education, so she worked in a small tea shop. The people who worked there with her tried to dissuade her from attending school, but she went to school anyway. Her employer did not want her to go but let her go anyway. She reached to school late, for which the teacher scolded her. Her school friends tried to be supportive but it did not help her. She was forced to work extra hours, which angered her father who forced her to drop out of school to bring more money for the house.
All the skits were presented really well. The CSA volunteers had really put some thought into their presentations.
Malavika M, Student Representative, Centre for Social Action (CSA)