Apna theatre, headed by Mr. Deo Kumar, is a theatre group in Kanpur working with dalit commuites in slum areas. Their focus is on the Valmiki community working as manual sacavengers and endeavour towards dalit liberation and subcaste unity.
In the last three years of its association with Dalit Foundation, the all dalit theatre troupe has addressed issues such as the importance of education, Dr. Ambedkarís life struggle etc through street plays, nukads, nautankis and dances in slums. To empower and integrate the Dalit community, they organize seminars and meetings about the dalit identity. They stress on the need to fight for development, awareness, identity, dignity and rights of the community. Additionally, efforts focussed exclusively on dalit women leadership are conducted. They also motivate the youth of the community to take up intellectual jobs. Apna Theatre has also been organizing NFE Centers for Dalit children Ninety five percent of the scavenging work in Kanpur is carried on in Muslim bastis. Hence sensitisation of the muslim youth has ensured cooperation and understanding of the local community towards issues of manual scavenging. Due to their efforts, the community of their area is now more conscious of the need for social reform. Most importantly, motivated by the messages spread by the Apna theatre through their various programmes, many Dalit youth are giving up their caste based jobs and pursuing education to ensure a brighter future.
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