Friends of Aagaaz Speak: Vernon Fernandez
My first experience with theatre was in the annual school play – a perfect excuse to spend about a month away from the classroom in rehearsals. You can’t be in a large production and not get bitten by the theatre bug, though. I’ve loved entertainment ever since, even changing jobs to work in the industry. Being connected to a play in any part of the production helps one to see exactly where one fits into the bigger picture, know that every little role matters – and allows you to escape a little. Theatre has provided me with amazing experiences, fond memories and some long lasting friendships. Sanyukta is one example of those – we met once a year at a theatre competition for three years running – yet have stayed in touch for 10 years after that!
When Sanyukta told me about Aagaaz, I had already heard about all the work she had been doing in the basti. Using theatre to reach out, to connect and to help children develop seemed so obvious, I wondered why people weren’t doing it already. I knew that the team would make the maximum out of whatever they had, and while I couldn’t help in person – a contribution was a small way to ensure that theatre continued to improve lives…
I’ve been extremely proud to hear about Aagaaz – each update I get only tells me more about how the children working with Aagaaz are improving. Their exposure to life and opportunities is increased, their drive to be better is stimulated – this is that one investment that I can see having a snowball effect which just keeps growing.