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Curator and Founder Aiman Mehta chats her work at RAAH- Literacy and Cultural Centre in South Pune!

Updated: Nov 7, 2022






Image Source: RAAH.org.in




RAD TIMES: Good evening Mrs. Mehta. I am so excited to be with you. Would you like to give us an introduction to what Raah The Literacy and Cultural Centre is?


Aiman Mehta: Raah is a part of Raahat foundation, which is a public charitable trust which extends meaningful help to society. It is a literacy and cultural center where we diversify a platform for new and talented artists to show their talent.


RAD TIMES: Would you like to tell us how did you start Raah The Literacy and Cultural Centre?


Aiman Mehta: We started Raah: The Literacy and Cultural Centre because I noticed Pune is the cultural capital, and people did not know where to perform. So we realized that there is a need to give artists a space to perform. So we created Raah, which gave artists a space to perform.


RAD TIMES: So will you like to tell us what the activities you do at Raah the Literacy and Cultural Centre are?


Aiman Mehta: At Raah, we do regular plays, workshops; we have a very vibrant book club; we do a lot of storytelling, we curate a lot of programs. I personally love theatre. We had plays from all around the world during the pandemic.


RAD TIMES: Could you talk about the library?


Aiman Mehta: Raah offers a selection of books for reading and renting in a warm and conducive environment promising excellent reading from a vast collection of literary genres. We offer books and host book readings, debates, and discussions to promote and share literature.


RAD TIMES: How many productions have you had at Raah the Literacy and Cultural Centre?


Aiman Mehta: I can’t put a number, but I can say that we have done more than 400 programs here. We do a lot of elocution and drama. Children also come and perform here.





RAD TIMES: Can you talk about Shakespeare?


Aiman Mehta: Every time we had a program on Shakespeare, I have had a packed crowd. So that’s when I realized we have also done a Shakespeare workshop before the pandemic. I had so many people and then I realized how popular Shakespeare is.



RAD TIMES: How much have you worked with children and young adults?


Aiman Mehta: We do a lot of plays for children and young adults during the holiday months like summer and winter. Many of our programs are children and youth-centric. We do a lot of drama workshops for children and adults. Since it is a part of the Raah Charitable Trust, a lot of our programs are extended to the underprivileged.





RAD TIMES: What are some programs you do for the underprivileged?


Aiman Mehta: A lot of our programs are extended to the underprivileged. So we promote arts and different workshops to underprivileged children. We do visits at the orphanage, school, etc.






RAD TIMES: I wanted to ask how the pandemic has affected Raah the Literacy and Cultural Centre.


Aiman Mehta: At the first phase of the lockdown, I did not understand what was happening. That’s when I realized I need to reinvent since it is newer times. So we started doing a lot of programs online. Raah was appreciated by people because we did not stop. A lot of people stopped. In fact, at that point in time because of COVID, I even did shows in the UK. Taking out Indian audience online in the UK. We make sure that the COVID protocols are followed.


Thank you so much ma'am for chatting! We are looking to report on some exciting events at RAAH!




 

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