Social service and breaking the wretched rules and ugly norms of society is quintessential, but it is equally important to charter out a way which the oppressed and exploited will follow after the revolution.
— Ritesh Sharma
Ahwaan, a foundation full of youthful ideas under the able and energetic guidance of Ritesh Sharma effectively used the strong and powerful medium of art and artists to create a change in the society. At a mere age of 26 years this boy from Varanasi has shown exemplary zeal and success in creating awareness and addressing issues of oppression and exploitation among children and women alike. The story does not end at identification of unscrupulous practices, but continues till the oppressed are well settled and safely tucked in the main stream society. This is what makes Ahwaan, an ngo run by a group of young college students from Delhi a ray of light which steers the underprivileged all through.
Using stage, street shows and short documentaries to bring to light the plight of the various sections of society, creating awareness about environmental, health issues and subjects like trafficking and commercial exploitation of children has been the major aim and vision of Ahwaan foundation, for which its members are working vehemently day in day out. The success of the efforts of Ahwaan Foundation can be well perceived in the internationally acclaimed documentaries “The Holy Wives”- a sordid tale of women forced into prostitution owing to societal, religious reasons and “Rainbows are Real”- a heart-warming depiction of vivid emotions of transgender and how society perceives them.
Winner of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award– Ritesh Sharma is an undeterred worker, whose sole aim is to show how certain religious settings and cultural beliefs are taking away the childhood from young kids and are making living a tormenting experience for women. The simplicity of this man can be well perceived in the greatness of his efforts, the portrayal of his ideas and the pure unaltered script and depiction of his documentaries which are an eye opener.
Young people like Ritesh are certainly the harbingers of greater good to the society and are an essential force in bringing social development. Creation of a society where children can develop freely and have the right to make choices and women are not exploited is the objective of Ahwaan. Currently working on two projects namely Udaan – an education project for underprivileged children and Ahwaan Bal Mukti Andolan – campaign against trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, this organization and its members have already created a loud roar in the minds of people.
“Change doesn’t start with action, it needs great vision and artists are the biggest visionaries”