Tahua Tura: Street Children’s Theater in Bangladesh
When she was just 13, now 17-year-old Tahua Tura of Bangladesh started expanding her theater troupe to include street children, including Dalit children living in closed-off communities once referred to as “untouchable." Her early experiences accompanying her aunt, Ashoka Fellow Safura Begum, to poor communities and interacting with the children had helped her see that, like her, they enjoyed creative arts but simply didn’t have access to them. She also saw that without such access, many were more vulnerable to violence and drug use on the streets. By age 14, Tura had set up an organization to build self-esteem and mitigate risk among marginalized children in Bangladesh that made national headlines. Last month, after being recognized as a Youth Venturer by Ashoka, Tura sat down with Ashoka staff to share what factors contributed most to her early changemaking experience.
I want to tell all the families in Bangladesh to give sufficient importance to the opinions of their children. I urge them to help children realize their dreams in as many ways as possible. To the kids, I would say, refine your own talents as much as you can. You will achieve wonders!