Jhumful Theatre, a youth-led initiative, triggered a cultural movement to bring positive changes in the ethnic communities living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT). The group plays varying roles in the hill tracts, making community aware on the bad impacts of child marriage, gender violence etc. They also inspire youths to get involved in traditional cultural activities such as dance, music, drama and performances, which would keep them away from falling in traps like fundamentalism, terrorism and drug addiction. Theatre is their main communicative tool to reach the target audience.
A multi-talented Nirupam Chakma, a youth born and brought up in Rangamati, started a journey with only five young activists in 2015.He has inspired a lot of fresh hearts to join him in the cultural movement. Now, he has more than two hundred youths from different educational institutions working with him and fifty regular actors performing on stage and cultural programmes. The group must be credited for bringing youth of Bengali and ethnic communities under one platform and promoting peace and harmony.
They have produced a good number of street dramas, also performed more than 20 stage dramas and took part in some national drama festivals. ‘Dhanpudi’ is one of their popular dramas which depicts the lives of the indigenous people. It spins around the role of patriarchy in the lives of indigenous people and touches upon themes such as love, tragedy, greed and treachery – the universal themes of social drama. ‘Adei Dhan’ and ‘Ubol Paal’ are also some of their popular dramas among others. The latter sheds light on gender violence and the role of women. It goes on to expose the concept of gender and how it is constructed and what its repercussions are. More recently, some of their dramas were broadcasted in radio. The leader and his associates seem to be keen to do some experiment as they produced some telefilms on burning social issues.
Jhumful is currently working with UNDP on a number of social awareness programmes to enhance the awareness of the people about their legal and human rights. The group is an active member of a reputed culture-based organization called Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts (BITA).
The group Jhumful Theatre became one of the top 10 winners of the category of cultural development in ‘Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017’. Nirupam Chakma was exuberant on receiving Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017, “Being in the top 10 is the recognition of our works. I would like to thank Young Bangla for taking such initiatives to inspire the youth and motivate their works. I hope in the coming days, we take our works to the national and international stage so that people can know about our works more.”
In near future, the group wants to spread its initiatives in new districts. Now they want to arrange shows on a more regularly basis. They are optimistic that they will overcome all challenges and have support from local and central authorities.