Grooming Babies and NCPA to Unveil the 8th Edition of ‘UNDER THE PEEPAL TREE’ Dad-Child Festival, Showcasing Rajasthan’s Rich Cultural Tapestry

As the sun prepares to dip beyond the Arabian Sea on the cool winter evening of December 23, 2023, the open-air venues of NCPA will come alive with the resonating folk tunes of Rajasthan and the buzzing laughter of dads and children.

Grooming Babies, a dedicated social enterprise championing involved parenting, is set to host its much-anticipated annual Dad-Child Festival, ‘UNDER THE PEEPAL TREE,’ in collaboration with NCPA. Now in its 8th season, this distinctive event is carefully crafted for children aged 4 to 10 years and their fathers, creating a special space for shared experiences. Set against the backdrop of the Sunken and Experimental Garden at NCPA, the festivities will unfold between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM, promising an enchanting open-air extravaganza meticulously designed to be both immersive and unforgettable.

Each year, the festival unveils the vibrant cultural traditions of different Indian states. This year, the princely state of Rajasthan takes centre stage, inviting fathers and children to immerse themselves in the creation of Rajasthani handicrafts and celebrating the rich artistry of the region. From the lively Opening Ceremony to royal Hobby Horsing and mystical storytelling of Kaavad Katha, the festival seamlessly blends tradition and creativity. Ragamala combines art and melody, and Kaachi Godhi Dancers inject vibrant energy. Culminating in a traditional Rajasthani dance, the Closing Ceremony leaves an indelible mark, ensuring the festival’s essence lingers in attendees’ hearts.

Bruce Guthrie, the Head of Theatre & Film at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Mumbai, expressed that, “The festival not only aligns seamlessly with our commitment to diverse and enriching family experiences but also brings live folk art and culture to children in a modernized and contemporary way. Cultural exploration is a core belief at NCPA, and now, through this festival, children can be exposed to these rich traditions in a manner that resonates with them.”

Notably, the festival embraces diverse family structures, encouraging fathers or father figures, and in their absence, grandparents, uncles, or even moms, to share in the joys of the event, fostering a sense of inclusivity and bonding.

Speaking on the occasion, Oindrila Purohit, Founding-Director of Grooming Babies, shares, “Celebrating 8 years, the festival has nurtured 4000 heartfelt connections between dads and kids, forging enduring memories and bonds. These memories will be shared, leading to a lifetime of joy.”

In its thriving second year with NCPA, the festival, which drew over 500 families last time, symbolizes a contemporary shift. With 80% now being hands-on fathers, this reflects evolving sociocultural dynamics and underscores the festival’s crucial role in supporting holistic father-child relationships. 

Schedule for 23rd of December FESTIVAL WALK-THROUGH

  • Registration and Welcome
  • Opening Ceremony (4:00 – 4:10 PM)
  • Rajasthani Handicraft Workshops (4:10 – 5:30 PM)
  • Hobby Horsing (4:10 – 6:00 PM)
  • Kaavad Katha: Unfolding Tales (5:40 PM)
  • Ragamala: Art and Melody Fusion (6:00 – 6:45 PM)
  • Kacchhi Ghodi Dancers (6:45 PM)
  • Closing Ceremony

Tickets for the festival are priced at Rs.1200 per child, and one parent gets to accompany them.