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New play script helps spread the Green Pilgrimage message

June 11, 2013:

This summer ARC is delighted to promote The Hidden Forest, a new play we have created as part of the Green Pilgrimage Network programme, together with our Hindu partner organisation.

The Bhumi Project and a talented new writer, Jahnavi Harrison. The play is ideally designed to be used in secondary schools, and - as part of ARC's Women and Pilgrimage programme - has some lively female characters.

Written by Jahnavi Harrison with a younger readership in mind The Hidden Forest tells an entertaining and thought-provoking story of three generations of women from an Indian Hindu family and their experiences as they make a pilgrimage to the sacred Yamuna River.

By contrasting the perceptions of Nani (a wise and devout grandmother) Jaya (her sceptical daughter) and her two young grand-daughters Shanti and Mayuri the story explores both the spiritual significance of pilgrimage and the impact it can have on the natural world. Faced with the environmental damage pilgrims have caused to places held to be sacred, the family are challenged to find ways that pilgrimage can contribute to restoring the health of the natural world instead.

It's a worthy message but, thanks to the many interesting sub-plots and incidents along the way it makes for a lively story. While essentially written for a small, mostly (or all) female cast, the dramatised version has plenty of scope for building a multi-dimensional performance, including dance/movement, singing and music, that could involve many more students.

"We know that some schools in India are key to dramatise it, but it could also be great for schools outside India, where it would be a fun, Bollywood-style way of talking about some big environmental issues. The illustrations are great too," said ARC's Victoria Finlay who worked on the initial storyline with Bhumi and Harrison.

Funding for this programme came largely from the Government of Norway.

Download the script version of The Hidden Forest here. Download the story version of The Hidden Forest here. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS 12MB.

More information about the original story version of The Hidden Forest can be found here.

Visit The Bhumi Project website here.

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April 17 2013:
PRESS RELEASE New story for schools inspires a greener understanding of Hindu traditions
The Bhumi Project and ARC are jointly publishing The Hidden Forest, a story book for young people about Hindu pilgrimage.
Green pilgrimage network members
The vision is of pilgrims on all continents and the pilgrim cities that receive them, leaving a positive footprint on the Earth
Hindu ecology
An outilne of Hindu teachings on the environment