By Renuka Dhakal
Kathmandu, Aug 8 : The play Cetamol written by Sulakshyan Bharati and directed by Jayaram Dhakal is now being staged at Purano Ghar Theatre in Sinamangal, Kathmandu. The play Cetamol is a social satire presented in a comic style.
This drama tries to show how cetamol tablets are not within the reach of the general people and how the health condition of the poor worsens in a lack of tablets. It also shows how the medical mafias hide the subsidized medicines to sell on the black market.
The drama starts with a devastating earthquake. People are crying because of the fear of losing their relatives in the earthquake. Terrified by frequent aftershocks, people gathered in an open space to save their lives.
Unfortunately, cholera plagues them immediately after the earthquakes. Although there is a health post near, there is no medicine.
What problems do locals have to undergo for failing to find life-saving medicine when they are sick? And, how does the Auxiliary Health Worker (AHW) of the health post deceive the villagers? The play provides answers to these questions.
One day, an AHW falls ill, cetamol becomes indispensable to save his life.
The villagers take the ailing AHW and wander from the ward office to the Prime Minister's office with the hope of getting the tablets of cetamol.
All government offices give assurances and write recommendations, but they do not have tablets of cetamol for the health worker.
Even after their ward chairman becomes the Prime Minister, they cannot receive cetamol.
This scene is resonant of the extreme cetamol shortage during COVID-19.
The play also throws a satire at the government, which becomes insensitive to those who create artificial shortages to increase the prices of medicines during the pandemic.
The drama has presented the carelessness and insensitivity of the health sector and the government's negligence to solve the medical problem during critical times.
However, the loud voices of a deaf old granny and a teenage girl exasperate the audience.
Similarly, the play has presented in a poignant manner our society perceives superstitions like widows and untouchability in the name of casteism. However, the less screen space to a widow who represents a major issue of society has seemed inadequate.
Director Dhakal said that this was a satirical play and they have tried to present the real environment of Nepali society. “Even a small thing can have an impact and cause a big problem that is why we take this issue to demonstrate the real situation of Nepal,” added Dhakal.
Arun Paudel, Ritesh Karki, Shrawan Yadav, Prakash Thapa, Yunisha Bajgain, Prabin Kharel, Asmina Bharti, Sagar Bhattarai, Tika Niraula, Sabita Tamang, Pius Kunwar, Dhanalakshmi Rai, Sandesh Karki, Shishir Giri, Suresh Rai, Saroj Khaling Rai, Tulsi Bohora, Sadin Luitel, and Arnav Ghimire are doing the play. The show will continue till August 10.