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  Life   More Features  05 May 2017  Dance for the rain

Dance for the rain

Published : May 5, 2017, 12:04 am IST
Updated : May 5, 2017, 12:04 am IST

Anshu Parihar, who is a Kathak dancer and teacher, will perform a rain dance with her students today at Churchgate station.

Abid Surti
 Abid Surti

Though the name of octogenarian Abid Surti is perhaps synonymous with his iconic comic book creations of Bahadur and Dabbuji, a side project that he took up a few years ago. He is just as close to his heart, The Drop Dead Foundation — an NGO which started as a one-man army to conserve water. For years Abid has been going door to door in his neighbourhood in Mira Road and fixing leaking taps for free. He fixes around 400 taps in a year and has been joined by a number of volunteers since he first began. However, the realisation that the efforts of a few to fix the problem is but a drop in an ocean of water wastage, led the activist to come up with an idea for spreading awareness about water conservation — Dance for Water.

“Rain dance is an age-old Indian custom and has been a part of our cultural landscape for over a thousand years, propagated by temple dancers and devdasis. They would dance before monsoon to please Lord Indra. So we have decided to use this form to create awareness about water scarcity,” says Surti.

Anshu Parihar, who is a Kathak dancer and teacher, will perform a rain dance with her students today at Churchgate station. “We plan to do a series of these flash mobs to spread awareness about water scarcity. We will do two installments in a month, one in a railway station and one in a mall in the city, with tomorrow’s being the first performance,” Surti adds.

Anshu, who has lived the majority of her life in Rajasthan, says that it is only when water is scarce that you really realise how precious a commodity it is. “In Rajasthan, during summer months, getting water was a major problem. Sitting in our homes, with showers and taps, we don’t realise how dire the issue of water scarcity is. When I started volunteering with Mr Surti, I realised that we needed to do something more extensive than repairing every single tap,” elaborates the dancer, who also wrote and composed the song on rain to which the dancers will be performing.

“We have no funding as of now, but I have hope, however, that the Dance for Water will create a difference in at least a few mindsets,” Surti signs off.

Today 3 pm onwards, At Churchgate Station

Tags: comic book, abid surti