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The Heritage School concert drives home green message

Villagers unite to save tree

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 01.11.22, 07:08 AM
Students perform in the concert at The Heritage School

Students perform in the concert at The Heritage School

Sourced by The Telegraph

Students of a city school recently staged a concert that portrayed a fight waged by children of a village against the cutting down of a tree to build a hotel.

A dominant narrative in the concert at The Heritage School, held on October 22, was the need to conserve the greenery at a time when climate change is posing a major threat to the humankind. The concert was planned, teachers of the school said, keeping in mind that students imbibe concepts and lessons — environment protection, in this case — better through participation, than through lectures in class. Three hundred students from classes IV to XII participated in the trilingual play, staged in the school auditorium before Diwali.


The narration was in English, the dialogues were in Hindi and the songs in Bengali. The play has been written by theatre teacher Anuvab Dasgupta, who tells the story of how the everyday life of the villagers revolves around a banyan tree, which is at the centre of the village.

“We want to make our children aware of the need to conserve our planet. We should start it young, with our children, who are our ambassadors wherever they go, be it the home or the outside world,” said principal Seema Sapru. “When you give lectures, it does not engage children to that extent. Participation helps them better understand the concepts.”

The essence of the play, Sapru said, is how one needs to appreciate and respect what they are provided by nature. “Unless we know how to treat nature with respect, nature will not give it back to us or provide for us.” The banyan tree offers shade to a cobbler while he earns his living and space to the sarpanch to run his office. Children play around the tree and the village fair is held beside it. The tree is at the centre of the village, literally as well as metaphorically.

“When an order comes that the tree has to be cut to make room for a hotel, the villagers are crestfallen but helpless. It was then that they unite and launch a movement, led by children, to save the tree,” Dasgupta said. “Through the concert the children learn to tell the right from the wrong and raise their voice against the wrong,” a teacher said.

“We have also shown how the felling of a tree can impact the livelihood of so many people, such as the cobbler and the man who sells balloons under the canopy,” Dasgupta said. Those who want to build the hotel bribe the sarpanch, but they had to retreat and the money is spent on rebuilding the school building.

Last updated on 01.11.22, 07:08 AM

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