‘Performing arts’ for food and nutrition security in rural India

‘Performing arts’ for food and nutrition security in rural India

Story by : Welthungerhilfe staff
Written on : 22nd October, 2019

Bringing about a behavioral change in the community for food and nutrition security is a long and a complex journey. Rooted in decades of poverty, lack of knowledge and at times even superstitions, it is difficult for the vulnerable communities to see food through the lens of nutrition. In such a scenario, it becomes imperative for us to constantly explore effective communication channels to create awareness and bring about a behavioral change in the community.

By training and empowering local artists in the art of ‘street plays’, Welthungerhilfe in collaboration with its partners have adopted an effective communication tool to create a sustainable method for behavior change in relation to food and nutrition security in rural India. The plays touched upon a range of issues related to nutrition security which included imbibing healthy traditional food habits, nutritional diets for pregnant mothers and children, infant and young child feeding practices to name a few. The plays not only explained the concept of food and nutrition in details to the audience but performing it in local dialects and relating it to the local nutrition and agriculture scenario developed curiosity and understanding amongst the rural masses.

In Madhya Pradesh, 20 local music and theatre artists were trained to become local resources to perform street plays in the districts of Sheopur and Chhatarpur. With support from partners MGSA and Darshana Mahila Kalyan Samiti, these artists performed in 51 villages reaching out to 11,764 spectators.

In Jharkhand, our partners Center for World Solidarity and Pravah supported local artists to perform street plays on food and nutrition security in local dialects across 52 villages in east Singhbhum and Deoghar districts.