Namma Jathre – Our Festival of ‘Free’dom

In early 2006, many non-profit and community based organizations like SICHREM, ESG, Sangama, OpenSpace, Stree Jagruti Samiti et al and individuals (like yours truly) working with marginalized persons and social issues in and around Bangalore felt the need for an open, informal gathering and expression of life, our spirit and beliefs. The idea crystallized into Namma Jathre, Our Festival signifying that it is an event by and for everyone.

When we first held the Jathre at Cubbon Park in November 2006, nearly 40 citizen’s groups and 7000 people including the general public participated. This increased to over 40 organizations and 10,000 people during the 2nd edition in December 2007. This year the festival travels to Freedom Park on Seshadri Road (Bangalore’s erstwhile jail opposite Maharani College) on 29th & 30th August 2009 from 10 am – 5 pm

Namma Jathre will be ‘free’ i.e., there will be no entry or participation fees. It is for children, and adults, for the elderly and the differently abled, to come and see modest efforts at creating a better world – a world as it should be; with lots of fun, laughter, song and dance.

Let us remember that the best things in life are free… and they are probably not ‘things’. Also, too much of our life is ‘paid for’ and commercialised though life is meant to be a celebration… And defending human rights is an expression of hope and confidence in the basic goodness of human nature-and that life must be a celebration for all.

So in this festival there will be: *Free entrance *Free participation *Free software *Free films *Free toys *Free books *Free Right to Information Clinic for a Corruption Free India

with * Song * Dance * Theatre * Painting * Clay Modelling * Food * Community crafts * Fair trade * Sports

…and lots and lots of fun and sharing for all age groups and interests.

Hope to see you there this weekend!

SEPTEMBER 2, 2009: Stills from Namma Jathre at ‘Free’dom Park on 29th & 30th August

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