JALUKBARI, Sept 7 - A 3-day capacity building workshop on social and behavioural change communication through folk art (puppetry) was organised by the Department of Communication and Journalism, Gauhati University in association with UNICEF at the university recently.
At the inaugural ceremony of the workshop, GU Vice Chancellor Dr Mridul Hazarika declared that puppetry will be included as a part of the Centre for Performing Arts, which was opened recently by the university to promote and preserve the cultures and traditions of the region.
Dr Hazarika said, �Puppetry is a means of communication for a particular community which needs to be raised in the global context as an influencing form of modern communication for behavioural change. That is quite difficult but yet possible.�
Veena Kumari, Communication for Development Officer of UNICEF, Assam, addressed the issues concerning adolescents in an interactive mode with the participants. She discussed the reason for investment by the UNICEF for adolescents in South Asia.
Dr Suresh Kumar Nath, Registrar, Gauhati University, also focused on need for folk art forms in influencing adolescent minds.
Sayanika Dutta from Cotton College who was the key resource person, dealt with the practical and hands-on aspects of the workshop. Dr Sangeeta Goswami, consultant psychologist and president of MIND India; Alankar Koushik from EFL University; Dr Surbhi Dahiya, Dean, Students Welfare of IIMC, New Delhi and Chabin Rajkhowa, former secretary, Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakhetra enlightened the participants on various issues of adolescence, social and behaviour communication and puppetry.
As a follow-up to the workshop, a hand puppet show titled �Save Trees, Plant Trees�, was also presented by the participants at Sundarbori, a fringe village of the university.
More than 90 individuals from different universities of the North East, such as Rajiv Gandhi University, Nagaland University, Mizoram University, English and Foreign Language University Shillong, Tezpur University, Cotton College State University, Gauhati University as well as from different NGOs participated in the workshop.
The workshop was coordinated by Bharati Bharali, Assistant Professor, Gauhati University.