Srinagar, May 18: A week-long Kashmiri theatre festival was inaugurated here by Vomedh on the eve of its 14th foundation day.
The event, which will continue till May 23, is being organised to preserve and promote Kashmiri language. The initiative is part of its project Pagah (Tomorrow) for the preservation and promotion of the Kashmiri language, the organisers said in a statement.
The event, which was attended by a large number of Pandit and Muslim dignitaries, was inaugurated by Rakesh Roshan Bhat, co-founder of Vomedh and convener of project Pagah. Noted among the participants included renowned educationist Nirja Mattoo, theatre directors Manzoor Ahmad Mir and Bansi Raina, President Kashmir Private School Association G A Var, actress Jyoti Kaul.
Seven prominent theatre groups from Jammu and Kashmir are participating in the festival. “We are committed to work towards preservation of our mother tongue which is losing its ground very fast. Kashmiri is not used as first language at homes anymore and overall the future of the language looks very bleak,” Bhat said while explaining the idea behind holding the event.
He said they have announced project Pagah this year on International mother tongue day to specifically work for preservation of Kashmiri language. “We decided to hold a theatre festival of Kashmiri plays to invoke the love of language through theatre,” Bhat added.
The festival has been curated by the ‘Bhat brothers’ Rakesh and Rohit as they are popularly called and are the founders of Vomedh.
On the occasion, Vomedh also celebrated its 14th foundation day during which it felicitated 80 students from over 10 schools of Srinagar city who had participated in a painting competition in ‘Navreh Milan’, last month.
Manzoor Mir while wishing Vomedh on its foundation day, appreciated its efforts in the field of art, language and culture. He urged the theatre lovers and audiences to watch the festival and nurture the theatre which is an important form of performing art.
The parents who accompanied the children felt happy that such competitions and felicitations encourage the students to do better outside the academics too. Sanjay Saraf commended the efforts of Vomedh and also wished it on its foundation day.
President of Kashmir Private Schools Association said the Vomedh has been pushing for adoption of language at grassroots level by connecting with school children. “We are happy to associate with Vomedh in this noble cause,” he said.
Rohit Bhat, President Vomedh expressed his gratitude to the people of valley and especially the theatre fraternity for the support is getting for his events especially this theatre festival.
“We feel very encouraged to see the love and support Vomedh is receiving for its cultural activities in Kashmir. We saw a similar enthusiasm and support today that Vomedh received for its program Pagah in Tagore hall Srinagar earlier this year to celebrate the international mother tongue day which was very well received ,” said Rohit Bhat, organiser of the festival and President Vomedh.
The other plays that are going to be performed in the festival are as follows. Zahar by Chinar Art foundation, Shakle Gaur by Yemberzal Youth Club, Dagg Rouz Lalvin by Shahkaar Cultural Society, Mukjar by Mehak Dramatic Club, Ghar Devta by Samooh tTheatre, Angraiz Paether by Kashmir Performers Collective. All the plays will be staged daily till 23rd May at Tagore Hall, Srinagar from 3.30 pm.