Drama students on the world stage teaching creative skills to Indian children

Drama students have been “left with exceptional memories” after taking their skills to India, running creative workshops for youngsters there.

The students, all in their third year, spent a week with the children, staff and volunteers of the Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad, which is supported by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Square Mile India programme.

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DMU has set up a special fund to help the children in the ashram, many of whom come from India’s poorest families.

During a fun-packed week, the students were able to put into practice much of the learning on their Drama degree programme. They delivered drama workshops designed to help the children learn English, build confidence, and have fun.

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Georgie Lower said: “After teaching the kids, you can see how proud they are of themselves for creating something. It’s great to see that they are happy with the outcome .”

The students helped the children prepare for a Christmas performance and put on a festive colouring session. They also shared drama techniques with the ashram’s teachers so that the lessons can be continued in future.

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The week-long trip was organised by DMU Square Mile India, and included sightseeing and cultural visits to the community centre, women’s craft collective and Gandhi’s house, where he lived until 1930.

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Chelsea Leggatt said “The experience has given me a whole new perspective on my life and has really inspired me to, as Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”’

Amy Grimes said: “My time in India has made me reflect on what I want to do in the future and I have already been in contact about returning to India after my studies.  It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”

The students documented their visit in a series of Facebook posts and wrote that “there was not a dry eye when they said their goodbyes”.

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Other DMU students are due to visit the ashram throughout the year. Each trip will focus on using the skill set of the students to help the communities and the children at the ashram.

Georgie added: “I’d definitely recommend coming to India to other students. It’s an opportunity to experience another culture, see things you wouldn’t normally see and be appreciative of everything you have.”

Roger Clegg, Senior Lecturer in Drama Studies, said: "The trip to India to work with some of the projects supported by manavsadhna.org was organised as part of the students' final year placement module, Engaging with Creative Industries, which enables students to develop professional skills within a supported work environment.

"#DMUGlobal offers the opportunity to embed an international experience into the Drama programme, and is just one of the many ways we seek to prepare our students for life after graduation."

Posted on Wednesday 30th November 2016

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