Rupantar brings CLP’s messages to the Chars through folk music and theatre

Posted on: 14 August, 2014 Posted in:
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This week CLP is highlighting the work of one of its partners, Rupantar.  Rupantar is a NGO based in Khulna in the South West of Bangladesh.  Rupantar, which in Bengali means “social transformation”, has worked in the development sector since 1995.  They use cultural performances to disseminate messages, addressing issues such as: democracy and governance; climate change adaptation; human rights; water, sanitation and hygiene; the environment; disaster management; child protection; and women’s empowerment.  Not only do they work with projects all over Bangladesh, they also work internationally in China, India, Sweden and Thailand.

In 2011, CLP’s Human Development Unit made an exposure visit to Khulna.  During the visit, Rupantar performed a piece from their cultural show for CLP staff.  Seeing the great work Rupantar was involved in, shortly after the visit, CLP began working with the NGO.  Rupantar went to CLP’s working areas to observe the Programme’s activities and, in collaboration with CLP, developed a performance specifically designed to disseminate key messages to people living on the chars.

Each year CLP’s implementing organisations hold melas (community fairs).  Approximately 40 to 45 melas are held every year between November and March and it is at these melas that Rupantar now performs.  They use a combination of songs and pictures to teach people about a range of health and social issues present on the chars and how to overcome them. Themes in the performance cover: birth and marriage registration; dowry; early marriage; WASH; nutrition; disaster management and preparedness; savings; and taking care of household assets.  The two main songs are the ‘Theme’ song and the ‘Pot’ song.  They also have a drama production which touches on CLP’s main topics such as nutrition, women empowerment and WASH.

We will soon be posting a video with audio from one of their songs along with images from their performances.

To find out more about Rupanatar visit their website: http://www.rupantar.org/