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Wanna be a Puppeteer!

Who is your favourite puppet on TV? Is it Mogambo and his son Zogambo from DID Little Masters Season 2 on Zee TV channel inspired by the character played by Amrish Puri in the film Mr India or is it Sonia Gandhi from The Great Indian Tamasha show on Ndtv 24×7 channel or is it Chamki, a five-year-old girl dressed in the uniform of a government school in Gali Gali Sim Sim show on Pogo channel?\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nPuppetry always charted a dual path in India mainly that of entertainment and as a tool for passing on the knowledge of mythology, folklore and religion. At the root of almost all puppet performances in India have been the Ramayana, Mahabharata and stories from the vast oral tradition of this country. Puppet shows were usually performed in temples for specific ceremonies, festivals, and even exorcism!.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nToday puppets play a less significant religious role. They are perceived more as a medium of children\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s entertainment. Yet in this changing form new roles are emerging for puppetry. It is used in activism, therapy, conflict resolution, community health interventions and education. Puppets can be innovative and equally fun for kids and grown-ups!\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nFor those who wish to be a professional puppeteer Katkatha, founded in 1998 is a theatre group with a repertoire for children and adults. They are consultants for puppet based projects and run puppet training programmes. They offer advance course that includes the theoretical and traditional aspect of puppetry and also the basic building blocks of puppetry such as training in sculpture, sketching, painting, mime, dance and music so that you have a stronger foundation for innovating in the arts,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” informs Anurupa Roy, founder of Katkatha.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nAnurupa Roy is a puppeteer by profession. She has a diploma in Puppet theatre from Dramatiska Institute for Film, TV, Drama & Radio at the University of Stockholm, Sweden. She also studied Guaratelle, traditional glove puppetry, from the Scoula Della Guaratelle, Italy. She is a puppet designer and performer and has directed over 14 full-fledged performances which have toured festivals in India and abroad.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nWhat\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\’s next? \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”There are several avenues such as you could direct performances for schools, colleges and professional theatre companies. You could create commissioned performances for events, launches and functions revolving around particular themes and subjects. Currently, there are also many opportunities for puppeteers like TV puppetry, social welfare and awareness shows for NGOs,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” she avers.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nKatkatha also offers summer and school vacation workshops for children every year. These are held at schools, residential colonies, cultural centres and summer camps. Children are taught how to create their own puppets, their own stories and scripts and to use puppets to create a show.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\nMoreover, they have tailor made teacher training courses which facilitate classroom teaching. These include storytelling with puppets training for nursery teachers and also using puppets to teach science and arts in the junior and middle schools. Teachers are given training in puppet making, using and scripting technique with a special focus on information imparting. In addition to this, they conduct puppetry hobby classes & workshops leading to performances.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\”We realise that it is premature to start a puppet school but that is our ultimate dream and goal,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\” says she excitedly.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\r\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\n– Babita Balan

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