A Not-so-Traditional Change: How DU Students Are Bringing Social Change Through Cultural Awareness

Posted on September 1, 2014 in Culture-Vulture, Society

By Srishti Jain:

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” These famous words by Mahatma Gandhi inspired the world because of his faith in truth and love for even those who fought against his ideals. If you change yourself you will change your world. If you change how you think, then you will change how you feel and what actions you take. And hence, the world around you will change because the change within can allow you to take action in ways you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of.

Inspired by the same need for change, many unconventional ventures have come up. From NGOs to private ventures, these avant-gardes of the social and corporate world are trying their best to not only make their organisation a success but also for the cause they are supporting.

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Gone are the days when doctors, engineers, bankers and government jobs were the only aspirations of young Indians. From the everyday dreams of becoming the next Sachin Tendulkar and Shahrukh Khan to the unusual dreams of becoming a radio jockey, artist, dancer and social worker; the ambitions of the youth has seen a drastic shift in the past one or two decades. Despite the economic scenario, new age careers are picking up thereby resulting in a higher demand not only for specialized higher education but also specialized and different opportunities.

I’m a people’s person and I knew I would thrive in an environment where I would meet people who care for art” says Arjun Sandhu of Delhi Dance Academy

Continuing on the same lines, students from Delhi University have started the concept of “bringing social change through cultural awareness”. A production house named Blank Delhi Productions with alumni and students of Delhi University, endeavour to fill the capital city with captivating musical performances and through them, to help the lesser known NGOs to advance in their paths of social change. With the passage of time, cultural events have also evolved and now they have an immense reach. This same reach gives a chance to people to raise their voices against social causes and also provide amateur artists a plethora of opportunities to gain skills and experience.

There are many upcoming ventures not only by established masters of the trade but also by the current generation itself to find their calling in the working world. From theatre centres to production companies, from dance centres to non profit organisations, there are endless new options for youngsters today.

The Blank Delhi Productions is one such platform which aims to raise Delhi’s awareness on both social and cultural level. It’s an initiative to bring together people to raise concerns about social causes which have gone unnoticed heretofore. In its maiden year of birth, Blank Delhi Productions will showcase their dance-musical “The Crimson Lie”. Continuing with their concept of love for all and change in the world, The Crimson Lie is a story of two young kids from dysfunctional families, bonded by friendship and love, and their journey to find the balance and peace in their lives.

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According to Tanvi Pal, founding member of Blank Delhi Productions, “Through this musical presentation, we wish to merge culture and cause.”

Adding to this, Shobita Negi, co-founder Blank Delhi Productions says, “We even wish to challenge the notion of taking up cultural activities for hobby sake and not as a stable career option”

On the unconventional route to merge cause and culture, the duo says “Merging cause and culture was our top priority but taking the decision of having a career in this field was a challenge, we want people to look beyond the usual.”

The whole musical involves students and performers from all over Delhi who have come together to help raise funds for ‘UDAAN’, an NGO based in Simla, working for the development of children with Down syndrome. Supporting Blank Delhi Productions is Jhalak Dikhla Jaa fame choreographer Bhavini Mishra and her dance company Urshila Dance Academy.

Talking about dance as a career, Bhavini Mishra says, “Dance is not perceived as just a hobby anymore. It is a full-fledged career today. This is evident from the success of various dance based reality shows in India. I am glad that youngsters today are much more open minded about taking risks and doing what they love which leads to the emergence of such successful professions.”

Who doesn’t want a good salary along with stability in career? Sadly, due to lack of exposure and knowledge, people still harbour doubts when it comes to choosing between an art form as a career option and that’s what we wanted to challenge; at present one of our top most instructors makes close to 9.6 lakhs per annum” adds Arjun.

With all the traditional and not-so-traditional yet abundant opportunities available today, one can say that the key to success is not only hard work and determination but also the ability to take risks and giving it your best shot to make your own way through this competitive world.

Blank Delhi Productions cordially invites you to their dance musical — The Crimson Love, on 6th September 2014 at Epicentre, Gurgaon from 12-2 pm and 4-6 pm.

 

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