A scene from Jaal. — Press release

Bangladesh Institute of Theatre Arts staged the play titled Jaal to pay tribute to the late playwright, poet and former Chittagong University teacher Zia Haider at a programme held at the Theatre Institute Chattogram on Wednesday.

The BITA organised the programme titled Zia Haider Smarok Boktrita Onusthan 5 to observe the 86th anniversary of the birth of Zia Haider. Besides Jaal, the event featured a seminar, documentary film screening and discussion.

A 15-minute documentary film titled Natya Shekhar Baatighar directed by Aminur Rahman Mukul featuring the life and work of Zia Haider was screened at the programme.

The audience and organisers also observed one-minute silence in memory of the recently demised Chattogram-based theatre activist Shahenoor Sarwar.

Theatre activist and associate professor at the dramatics department of Chittagong University Ashim Das delivered the introductory speech at the event. Playwright and director Rabiul Alam gave the Zia Haider Memorial Speech titled Amar Natak-e Naari Charitra.

Professor Quazi Mostain Billah spoke about Zia Haider while theatre researcher Iqbal Eusuf spoke on Zia Haider Memorial Speech at the programme.

The CU dramatics department chairman Shakila Tasmin also spoke at the event, which was chaired by the executive director of the BITA Sisir Dutta.

After the discussion, the BITA staged the play Jaal, written and directed by the late Indian Bengali renowned theatre personality Usha Ganguly.

Jaal portrays the struggles of the fishing community living in the Sunderbans, a mangrove forest located on the border of Bangladesh-India.

Fishing communities are considered marginalised communities as they solely depend on fish in the Sunderbans. Due to poverty and lack of education, women are oppressed in male dominated communities. The play portrays the sufferings of women in a male-dominated society along with how women are falling victim to human trafficking in the Sunderbans. The play also shows how the fishermen break free from the trap set by a vested quarter by taking an education.

Ashoke Barua, Bappa Chowdhury, Shuvra Biswash, Sarmin Sultana Rasha others acted in the play.

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