Drama Along The Ganges River

By Sr. Ching Madduma icm

Something beautiful is happening in villages along the Ganges River. It takes a Filipino to come up with something as noble as Sr. Ching came up with to help mentally handicapped people – these people who are quite normal in all other ways but mentally slow. As a result they have been relegated to a world of shadows. Sr. Ching has reinvented street drama to be performed by the people themselves in order to educate the populace to a more human attitude. Here we publish some photos of her pioneering dramas done along the villages of the Ganges River.

It is written: “The whole world is a stage; and we are all actors upon it!” and so it is through this that Sr. Conception Madduma, an ICM Sister from Isabela, Luzon, and missioned in India for over 20 years now, has taken these words and effectively applied them to her apostolic works in educating and taking care of people who happens to be slow.

The immediate platform for Sister Ching’s Dramas are the village roads and the waysides of the Varanasi District of Northern India. Here is the “holiest center of all Hinduism”. The actors are the local people: villagers, parents, teachers, persons who are slow. These street dramas of Sr. Ching are easily understood, and the result is that everyone is educated. Sister Ching has well oriented the street drama troupe and she says, “Handicapped people themselves are the best actors. They learn well; they perform well; they attract well.” All the actors are local people. The photographs shown here give ample evidence of their abilities and their educational acumen.

In ten villages located along the Ganges River banks, Sr. Ching has been the director, scriptwriter and sponsor of this special educational means. A new mission experiment is being tested. Much has been learned. Social education and awareness, as presented in these street dramas, have made an impact on those who have stopped to see, to listen and to become involved with the real life situations of many people who still live in a world of shadows.