In an effort to connect the tribals of the region to the mainstream, the Chhattisgarh police have set-up a mini-theatre in the state’s Abhujmad region, news agency PTI reported on Sunday. The theatre, which was inaugurated on Thursday at Basing village of the Naxal-affected region, will be used as a platform to entertain as well as educate the people of the region, police said.
The theatre has been set-up through a special central assistance wherein around Rs 30 crore is being given to each Naxal-affected district to provide public infrastructure and various services, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Jitendra Shukla told PTI. The theatre, which has been set up at a cost of nearly Rs 15 lakh, will cover around 13 villages in the vicinity, Shukla said. Seven more theatres will be set up in the region through the fund, he added.
Shukla, who is also the mastermind behind this initiative, told PTI, “The idea is to connect tribals of Abhujmad to the outside world which has been unknown to them largely because of Maoist activities.”
“Television and mobile phones are almost non-existent in the Abhujmad region, which is home to various aboriginal tribes, and except for the local market held once in a week, people do not have access to any means of entertainment. Even the Narayanpur town does not have a cinema hall or theatre,” he added.
The first film to be screened at the free-of-cost theatre was S S Rajamouli’s grand epic ‘Bahubali’. Villagers would also be shown films, documentaries, and TV channels through direct to home (DTH) service to increase their understanding of agriculture, education, sports and patriotism, the SP said.
A gaming zone has also been created in the theatre premises where people can play table tennis, carrom, and chess. A committee of people, comprising youth and children of the area, will manage and operate the theatre, the SP said.
Rajni Usendi, a member of the Orchha janpadpanchayat which covers Abhujmad area, welcomed the initiative. “The smiles on the faces of tribals were quite evident when they watched ‘Baahubali’ movie. It shows how a little thing can make them happy and excited,” she said.
This was probably the first time that people from the interior area watched a movie, Usendi said, adding the initiative will have a positive impact on Abhujmad’s future.