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Aagaaz ka Tana Bana

Campaign by Aagaaz Theatre Trust

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“Every day, we are taught how to be and what to do. There are very few spaces for us to be, to reflect and to connect with the world, where we can discover other ways to do things.” 

Nagma, 18: Artist-Facilitator in training and Founding Member of Aagaaz

Forty-three per cent of children below the age of five in India do not meet their developmental potential. The manifestations of basic needs not being met at foundational stages become evident during their lifespan.

Mainstream education is result-oriented and only focuses on dominant knowledge skills, often sidelining the more intangible socio-emotional skills that are fundamental to learning and growth, for the development of an integral and active social being. The current education system alienates children by being disconnected from their contexts. This, exacerbated by systemic effects of identity-based prejudices from a young age, adversely impacts the long-term behavioural, cognitive and emotional development of young people. Due to the lack of consistent access to psychosocial safety, and long-term sustained violence and trauma, they are unable to realise their potential and this denies them any possibility of democratic dialogue with many rendered voiceless. This lack of dialogue further negates the possibility of societal transformation.

Performing and visual arts tap into multiple intelligences of individuals and groups leads to creative and critical inquiry, and play, which is essential. The arts humanise the makers as well as spectators by engaging both emotionally, creating a safe space for expression and exchange.

Aagaaz is committed to working long term with children and their families in Nizamuddin Basti- which is largely a marginalized minority community and Khirkee village whose inhabitants comprise migrants from Afghanistan, Somalia, Congo and a diverse Indian population. We work through a life-cycle approach creating sustainable and ground-up processes of change through engagement with theatre and arts. 


  • Engaging 1400 young people in compassionate inquiry about self, others and the world to nurture a generation of active citizens through over 3000 hours of in-person theatre and arts-based sessions, and 200 hours of digital learning sessions centred around theatre and arts.
  • Building capacity of 20 artist facilitators and 25 teachers who can actively engage with children, families and the public school system. 
  • Developing 21st-century skills to create school readiness, access to higher education, and employability 
  • Creating safe spaces that encourage participants to bravely question and take action in democratic processes 

Our work will impact 1400 children and young people in 2 neighbourhoods, their families, and children in 5 government schools, training 20 motivated artist facilitators and 25 public school teachers in arts for social action. Through immersion into artistic practices, consistent conversations and engagement with families, schools and other stakeholders, over a period of time we will create - 

  • Safe, inclusive and democratic spaces for expressing, engaging with the self, finding commonalities, and discovering ways of navigating everyday challenges.
  • Brave spaces for dialogue amongst children, young people, their families and other stakeholders across socio-economic lines about issues that are otherwise divisive or silenced.
  • 21st-century skills leading to higher retention in the school and higher education systems and better employability.
  • Socio-emotional wellbeing leading to the holistic development of the children and the ability to imagine and manifest better possibilities for themselves and their communities.
  • A generation of creative practitioners who tell stories of realities that are missing from mainstream discourse.

Be a part of this change, become a Friend of Aagaaz, by getting us closer to our goal of raising INR 40 lakhs for our work this year!

Aagaaz Theatre Trust

Aagaaz Theatre Trust

Beneficiary Charity

Aagaaz Theatre Trust

Aagaaz Theatre Trust


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