Folk songs tell stories of societal woes in Jhabua 

Bhopal: To spread awareness about child marriage, education, health issues and role of Anganwadi and Panchayat in the village, a group of tribal kids of Khandvi village in Jhabua district, especially girls, have come up with an innovative method. They have incorporated awareness messages in their folk songs and have scripted street plays.

Under project Mandal – The voice education programme by Unicef, several such songs and plays are being written to help spread awareness about various local issues and that, too, by the children. Mandal is a type of drum used by tribal community in Jhabua district.

Several groups of children have been formed in Khanvi village that are taking up various issues. Of these groups, the eldest group is creating plays based on prevention of vector-borne diseases and role of Anganwadi, Panchayat, health centres and auxiliary nurse-cum-midwife (ANM) in preventing vector-borne diseases. These children also point out role of the common men in preventing the spread of these diseases.

What do the plays say?

In their play, the children urge people to stop washing clothes and utensils near hand pumps and educates them on the importance of constructing soak pits. They also made people aware about how the pits in the village are developing into breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The plays also inform about identifying mosquitoes and their larvae that can lead to diseases.

What these kids’ groups do

  • Children perform plays and folk songs in various schools as well to make other children aware about issues.
  • Folk songs of Bheel tribe have now become a major source of spreading awareness about child marriages.
  • The children have changed lyrics of folk songs to introduce different messages related to child marriages in it.
  • Young girls told DB Post that the inspiration came to do something when their friend had to quit school last year because of her wedding.
  • This upset them spurring them on to spread awareness about child marriages in their village so that no other girl has to stop studies for marriage.