Rising above their despair, oppressed and abandoned women have taken to street-theatre, staging shows in the slums of Hyderabad. Under the guidance of Puran Chandra Rao, writer-director of the play Aurat, these women are educating their friends in the slums about the evils of dowry, malnutrition and the benefits of contraception. Rao has used a male clown as an anchor, to appease the feminist baiters. It seems the slapstick comedy is striking more receptive chords among the male audience than was expected. There have been about 70 shows of the play since December 1994, in Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and many more are coming in the next 3 months.
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