It’s not the random acts of courage that define us, but the birth and nurture of true strength and character and embodying that grit and determination is the story of Arya, which is being performed by the equally resolute and amazingly talented girls under the guidance of Ankita Nawalakha and her team of volunteers.
The Story Behind Arya: The Musical
When Ankita joined the Teach For India fellowship, a non-profit organization that aims at providing quality education to students in low-income schools across India, she met with the her class of 45 brilliant young girls studying in seventh grade at the Government Girls School in Tughlaqabad Extension, New Delhi. It was the sheer love for her girls and the zeal to help them follow their heart and dreams that gave birth to the idea of this musical.
The Story Of Arya: The Girl Who Wants To Fly
Penned down by Ankita Nawalakha, this musical consists of lyrical poetry, written over 25 pages, about the story of Arya, the girl who wants to fly. She is discouraged and ridiculed by the villagers for having such an unconventional dream. She follows her heart and embarks on the magical journey towards the flying mountain. But, before she can reach the flying mountain, she has to face 5 obstacles on her way, only to be conquered through donning qualities such as HOPE, COURAGE, EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, and COMPASSION. Watch Arya succeed in reaching the flying mountain and fulfilling her dream.
A Word With Ankita Nawalakha
It must not have been easy, with managing the funds – the biggest hurdle of all. But, in the words of Ankita, “People supported us a lot. We were able to raise funds, even a bit more than the set amount.” The next major step was to convince the parents of these girls who came from low-income families and who were hesitant to the idea of letting their girl dance and sing. But, a few weeks into practice, they watched their kids evolve beautifully. Ankita said that it had taken them almost 10 months including, art therapy sessions, performing arts training, value-based lesson plans, reflection sessions, retreats and a 7 day long out of station winter camp conducted in Patiala, to achieve the dream.
Sharda Jha, the daughter of an embroidery worker, wishes to be a historian and sometimes buys a newspaper by saving money. She says, “When I read this story of Arya, I got motivation about how can I achieve my dreams.” Muskaan Tanwani, who wishes to be a writer, says, “If we want something, then we should rebel but never complain.”
Talking to Ankita about the whole project, her excitement and politeness reminded me of the perfect reasons why our teachers always have the most profound effect on us. It’s the little things in life.. that one teacher who gave us that push, who helped us train and get to the platform while silently mouthing the words of the song along and beaming with pride while watching their children. It’s those little things that matter the most in our lives.
Ankita is a young graduate in psychology from Jesus and Mary College, who dreams of opening a school where she wishes to help children follow each and any of their dreams. She says, “Education, today has been curbed to the mind only. I dream of opening a school where the education of individuals will cater to their body, mind, and soul.” She is joined by a team of volunteers, comprising Kriti Dwivedi, Ambica Singh, Kush Gaur, Mohit Puri, K.P.Jayaram, Mahika Goyal, Pallabi Talukdar, Faiza Azhar, Apoorva Mahendru, Aparna and Anshu Singhi.
The play is set to be held at the Arya Auditorium, East of Kailash, New Delhi on 23rd of April, 2017. For tickets, please visit their facebook page. And even if you are not able to make it, watch these kids practice and show your love and support at on their Facebook page.
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