There's something to sing and dance about in Sonapur

Titled Sunehri Ashayen (Golden dreams), the show was performed by Indian classical dancer and social activist Dr Mallika Sarabhai.

Break from work
Image Credit: Sunita Menon,Gulf News
The play depicted scenes on the dos and don'ts for the workers, the importance of being legal workers, remainingfocused on the purpose of working overseas for a living and the dangers of overspending.
Gulf News

Dubai: There was a packed audience at the ETA-Ascon Worker Accommodation 2 at Sonapur to watch an hour-long dance drama that spoke of the every day concerns of a worker.

Titled Sunehri Ashayen (Golden dreams), the show was performed by Indian classical dancer and social activist Dr Mallika Sarabhai.

Workers from adjoining labour accommodations enthusiastically poured into the ETA-Ascon premises to watch the free show which started at 9am. The hour-long show brought out various emotions among the audience.

There were some who preferred to stand in groups on top of the accommodation balconies. A scene in the play where a worker is informed of the passing away of his father by a telephone call from home and his struggle and his inability to drum up ticket money, seek permission from his company management, brought tears into some of the workers' eyes.

"When the scene was being enacted I identified myself with the character in the play. I had gone through a similar incident in the my life some three years back. I was on the job at a construction site and I received a call from home in India that my father had passed away. The news left me absolutely blank, but my colleagues and roommates came to my rescue and got me an air ticket in no time. I am just glad to have come to watch the show that not only help us to understand a particular situation but also helps us to cope with it in a more mature way," said C.T. Raja a worker.

The play also depicted scenes on the dos and don'ts for the workers, the importance to be legal workers, the dangers of overspending and to remain focussed on the purpose for them to work overseas for a living.

Edutainment

"Such shows and should be encouraged more in labour accommodations. It is not only entertaining but also quite educating as well. The show is so well-tailored that we all workers who are seated are able to relate to it. There are no gimmicks and everything in show had evoked some kind of emotions within us. For example, I was able to relate to a scene where workers are being lured by unscrupulous agents and how they fall prey to such people. I had gone through a similar experience but with the advice, I did not succumb to the lucrative salary being offered to me by that agent. I later learnt that the agent was a fake and was taking gullible workers for a ride," said Ebrahim Abdul Qader, a worker.

The shows were held on Thursday and Friday in Sonapur, Al Quoz and Jebel Ali, by the Indian Consulate in association with ETA Ascon, Dulsco, Al Faraa, Al Ahmadiah, Arabtech and the Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs, Dubai.

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