Kismat Bano’s “Cinderella” brings the best out of visually-impaired children

Four years ago, Sangeet Natak Akademi scholarship holder Kismat Bano had a chance meeting with the students of the Guwahati Blind School. Soon it became a passion for her to teach acting to the visually impaired students there and she has been doing it all along without expecting any remuneration for her work.

cin4

In 2015, she staged “Puhor” and in 2016 “Hopun” with these differently-abled children and her work was appreciated by all sections of the society.

On Tuesday, her third play with the students of the Blind School, “Cinderella” was staged at the School auditorium at Basistha, near the Army Base Hospital in Guwahati. Directed by Kismat Bano, the play was adapted to the local needs and even the characters appeared on the stage wearing exquisite ethnic Assamese apparels.

cinderella2

The task for Kismat was not easy for the simple reason that many of the students she trains in acting happen to leave the School every year after completion of their school course. So, every time she has a number of newcomers to be trained in the art of acting. For this particular stage play “Cinderella” she had to visit the School several times to discuss the plot with the actors and acquaint them about the costumes and sets. Then followed a series of vigorous rehearsals after classes, for days together, during April and first half of May, 2017. The result was there for the jam-packed audience to see on Tuesday.

Dolly Rajbongshi did a superb performance in the role of Cinderella while Pinky Das, Babita Das as her two sisters and Sana Bano as mother also did justice to their roles. Rajdeep Dakuwa, Pradyumna Bora, Lalbar Ali, Bishal Kalita, Bishal Baishya, Sameera Khatun, and Purabi Talukdar enacted the other roles in the play.

cin5

Shahid Afridi sang the title song of the drama so enchantingly that he had to do an encore after the play was over. Imamur Hussain and Rajdeep Dakuwa provided the backdrop music. While Kismat Bano, besides direction, also took care of settings and costumes, she was assisted by Kamal Lochan and Rajib Medhi in the adaptation of the play to suit the convenience of the differently abled characters. Rupjyoti Deka took care of all backstage activities.

Kismat expressed gratitude to Bhaben Barman, Principal, Blind School for not only encouraging the efforts but also giving a free hand to the director and actors for excelling in their performance. She was thankful to Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi for extending support to this novel as well as noble effort by her. She announced that the Blind School troupe have been invited to stage the same play at Seagull Theatre’s Studio near Shraddhanjali Kanan at Jonali near the State Zoo on May 24 in which the public will have a free entry.