Saturday, September 10, 2011

John Devaraj~An amazing Indian by Times Now

John Devaraj, Founder, Born Free Art School in BangaloreVideo Link:

There are 217 million working children in the world, 134 million of which live and word in India.

The Bornfree Art School is a special school created exclusively for street,
working children and freed bonded labor children. The objective is to educate
and develop these children through the arts, putting them back into the main
stream of education.

Children learn sculpture, painting, dance, music,
theater, photography and filmmaking along with reading, writing, and mathematics.
Education through entertainment and the sharing of knowledge are the core
aspects of learning.

Art is a therapeutic means for children from such difficult
backgrounds to express themselves freely, regain the confidence and self
respect as well as to generate interest in education.

See John's amazing profile:

I hope you will also share this info to all your friends/relatives
and inspire them to do some good work for others around us.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Heiwa Zou Resha Japan Tour 2011

Bornfree Art School was invited to perform Heiwa Zou Resha for the month of August 2011 in six cities; Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo with a thousand people awaiting our shows. It was such a tremendous response from the people in Japan. This was a year-long plan to invite artists from India, who would deliver the message of peace and children of India through Heiwa Zou Resha. On behalf of the Bornfree, John Devaraj, Anand Dhanakoti, Ramachandran S, Saravana D, and Pia B were performers and facilitators for the workshops. They represented India on the day of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings ( 6th and 9th of Aug), trained Japanese children on the issue of Sadako, Kempo Kyujo, and animals' rights. John had lectured regarding the issue of peace and children's rights. We were also able to conduct a workshop for children who are mentally abused backgrounds and suffering from personal problems. They enjoyed our workshops thoroughly and their minds and bodies became liberated. Bornfree made a huge impact on young people in terms of issues; many participants said that they, Indians thought us about Atomic Bombing and Sadako.There were young people who dance on Article 9, Kempo Kyujo of the Japanese constitution. Saravana and Ram want to pursue peace studies in Hiroshima soon as well. Anand said this time he could deepen his thoughts about peace and were able to understand many issues from the historical and political points of views. Pia has enriched her experiences of working with kids and also got educated in peace issues. John has come up with a new idea to set up a peace museum in Bangalore. Bornfree can play a vital role further in contributing to make Indian society free from the violence and war. You can log on to the photos;
Details more about Sadako;
Kempo Kyujo;

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Heiwa Zou Resha Rehearsal on!

Hi. We have been working on the new production called Heiwa Zou Resha and we want you to be a part of it! Please email or call us; we want actors, dancers, costumers, puppeteers, properteers, stage managers, light operators, back stage masters, etc. You will be working with children from the streets and working on the issue of peace and children's power. We will be scheduling the show on the 9th and 10th of July in Chennai and 19th of July in Bangalore. We are very happy to have you in this production and you will be definitely enjoying the process of making our dream possible. You can find more details at

Monday, April 11, 2011

Celebration of the 122nd Birthday of Charlie Chaplin~the most famous working child

The Bornfree Art School Theater is a Chaplinisque Theater. It is inspired by the History, Philosophy acting style and genius skills of the great master. Chaplin himself homeless at twelve a working child, contributed to the world through laughter and humour understanding poverty, destitution , hunger, humanism without even uttering a word.

The Bornfree has created "Che Che", short films on child labour in Charplinisque way. There are three episodes; Bonda Boy, a battle of child hotel workers, Mane Bootha about domestic child labourers, and Ragged Dancers about child ragpickers. Each is 20 minute-long.

This event will open with a dance piece of "Smile", one kind of the song that Chaplin composed in his life and used in "the Modern Times", later it became very famous because lyrics were added by Nat Cole King and sung by him and Michael Jackson. There will be theater pieces acted by Bornfree ; Boxing, Kid, and The Emperor from Chaplin's famous movies.

Please come and celebrate his birthday with laughter.


Bornfree Art School
Inspired by the most popular street kid
Charlie Chaplin
celebrates the maestro 122nd birthday
with new form performances of mime and dance and film 

on 16th April 2011 at 10 am
Art 9 KH Kala Soudha, Ramanjenaya Temple Compound, Hanumanthnagar, Bangalore

on 17th April 2011 at 4 30pm
Alliance Francaise, Millers tank bund road, Bangalore, Bangalore

Event details
The Boxing ring , mime  5mins
Che Che film Mane Bootha, 18 mins
The Kid mime 3mins,


Smile Mime and dance 5mins
Che Che Bond Boy 26 mins
I dont want to be an Emperor,  Chaplin's speech in the Great Dictator 3mins

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To remember Japan Tsunami ~ From India with love

The Bornfree Art School has staged "Shiroi Hana" on the 27th March 2011 for fundrasing for tsunami victims of Japan. Within the short period of practice time and with new dancers and actors, we were able to stage Shiroi Hana-White Flower, which is about the Hiroshima atomic bombing. With an audience of about 200, along with the Team Peace Challenger, the Bornfree has raised funds and issue of atomic bombing through the theater on the day of the World Theater Day. 11 Japanese women who visited us have shared their real experiences when the earthquake hit their areas. Maki said that "When i was at home, i felt the biggest earthquake in my life and i was always told to hide under the table when such thing happens. But i had a second thought of outside is safer than inside or vice versa." The voices of the Japanese reached the audience, which touched their hearts.

Dr. Cheeranjivi Sighn as a chief guest has inaugurated "I AM HOMELESS" and "Art for Japan" exhibited by John Devaraj. He has been photographing the homeless in such as Japan, Chez
Republic, Germany and India. His exhibition is also dedicated to the tsunami victims.

You can find out more about us in E-paper;
The Indian Express;
The Hindu;

Photo Album;

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shiroi Hana and Art for Japan~27th March 2011

22nd March 2011

Shiroi Hana [White Flowers] and Art for Japan
Performance dedicated for Japan tsunami relief by the Bornfree Art School

The March 11th Earthquake and Tsunami has counted a death toll of 8928 according to the Japanese Police as is today. The number of the missing is up to 12,000. A total 3,19,000 people have taken refuge in 2,100 evacuation centers in 16 prefectures since more than 3 lahks housings were completely destroyed. 23,000 people were forced to evacuate from the threat of radioactive fallout from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The Bornfree Art School will be performing Shiroi Hana (White Flower), 25 minute dance-theater about Hiroshima-Nagasaki atomic bombing, for the remembrance of tsunami tragedy in Japan. The Bornfree is a special school and performing group of artists which dedicate for the cause of working and street children. In 2008, the Bornfree had travelled to Japan and performed in Fukushima, Chiba and Tokyo, the earthquake hit areas. The school has been interacting with more than 5000 Japanese people and supported so far and we firmly believe that it is time for us to show our solidarity. 

Shiroi Hana~
Shiroi Hana was performed in the first Global conference for the Article 9, aiming to an abolition of armies in Tokyo in 2008. This production has been performed all over in India for the occasion of Peacebycycle, a peace cycle rally from Bangalore to the Wagha Border for the friendship of India and Pakistan.

We are performing on the occasion of World’s Theater Day on the 27th of March 2011 at 4 pm at the Kala Soudha, Hannumanthnagar. Eleven Japanese women from the Team Peace Challenger will be visiting us and witnessing this occasion. They will report us the latest situation of the victims. We are aiming to collect money, blankets and clothes for the victims. The TPC will take a responsibility to reach money and things to the victims safely.

Titile; Shiroi Hana~White Flowers (25 minutes)
Time; 27th March 2011 at 6pm, Kala Soudha, Hannumanthnagar ( near Anjayanappa Temple / Ramakrishana Ashram)
Script, Direction, Music and Film; John Devaraj
Choreography; Mioi Nakayama, Reshma Ravikanth, Anand Dhanakoti

I’m Homeless and Art for Japan~ Exhibition
John Devaraj, the Artistic Director of the Bornfree will be opening the gallery by the photographic and painting exhibition “I’m Homeless and Art for Japan” dedicated to tsunami victims for this occasion. I’m HOMELESS is the photographic exhibition of homeless across Japan, Cambodia, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic and India. Art for Japan is a series of paintings as a response to the Japan Tsunami to raise hope, relief and reconstruction. The inauguration will be at 4pm at the basement of K H Kalasoudha. All contributions will be handed over to them to forward it to the relief operations underway.

We are looking forward to your presence and contribution. Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

John Devaraj                                Mioi Nakayama

The Bornfree Art School
21, 2nd Cross, GH Layout, 3rd Block East Jayanagar Bangalore 560011
Ph;9886306366 / 9886011830,

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In solidarity

Dear Friends,
People of India have been showing consoles and solidarity for the victims of Tsunami and Earthquake in Japan. Yesterday the Bornfree Art School had organized the candle night to show solidarity for them. We were reported in every newspaper and tv. 

The Bornfree Art School had performed in Tokyo, Chiba and Fukushima in the year of 2008 for the occasion of Article 9 Peace conference. We have been supported by the tremendous number of Japanese people around 5000, therefore, we feel it very essential and necessary to show solidarity and remember this tragedy. We pray for those who are victimized. We hope Japan will recover as soon as possible and see the strengthen of the people.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Heiwa Zou Resha~Call for Artists and organizers

Heiwa Zou Resha {Peace Elephant Train}
Director; John Devaraj

Set in the beginning of the Second World War, it is about the plight of the zoo animals that have no way of protesting against an unnecessary war. When bombs are falling on Japan and there is no food for people. The Curator of the Nagoya Zoo is pleading for food for his animals in the Zoo. Instead of getting supplies, he is asked to shoot down the animals. He is questioned ‘Who is more important, human beings or animals? Indeed this is such a diabolical question. The lion, bears and cheetah are shot dead, two elephants die of starvation; and the curator is struggling to save the last two elephants. In 1945, two atomic bombs were thrown on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Japan was completely destroyed.

During the democratization process, thousands of children from Tokyo and all over Japan are asking for the elephants to be brought to their cities; which is impossible. The railway authorities respond by introducing a special train, from Tokyo to Nagoya called the Elephant train.

From India with love
Jawaharlal Nehru the then prime minister of India heard about this story and made a magnanimous gift to the children of Japan. He gave a baby Elephant, Indira as a present who walked the earth on the side of Japan for many years. Children of Asia will walk with India to Japan with the Heiwa Zou Resha………

Highlights of the Show;
1.      Wars and Children; Children are the first victims of war followed by women. There are 134 million working children in India. Every tenth Indian is a working child. Everything we use in our daily lives are products of child labour. India will surge forward only when we can spend all the money spent on defense towards education.
The narrative will also follow a chronology of events before, during and after the war bringing it to the contemporary world of nuclear wars and offer the Kempo Kyujo as the solution.
2.      Mother Nature; the story has a direct link to zoos and the protection of wild life in the wild and zoological gardens. It is very compelling and seeks the urgent sensitization of the world on the very delicate balance of life and the saving of endangered species The Tiger foremost now reduced to 1114 in India!
3.      Fantasy~Dance-theater in the fusion styles; this fantastic musical~ballet~ mime, and puppet theater about animals, mother earth war, peace, and need to protect our children will be performed in a circus~dance form with high energy. HZR encompasses high fantasy images, vibrant music, giant puppets, and a whole lot of fun involving the audiences. It will be put into lyrics and use every contemporary musical style combining modern rap, jazz, blues and heady reggae, using African, Indian drums, Zamponia, Andean flutes. The dance form will be contemporary, ballet, jazz, using elements of Kalaripayattu, Indian traditional martial art form, samba, native American dance forms.

Produced by the Bornfree Art School
The Bornfree Art School is a special school for working, street and bonded labour children. It aims to bring children of the streets back to the main stream of education and society through learning dance, music, theater, sculpting, painting, and film-making. The Bornfree is a social movement and has been producing a culture of liberation of children since 2005. 15 children has documented photographic proof of child labour rampant in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Goa in 2006. Photographs were submitted and discussed suo moto case to the United Nations and the Minister of Labour, Government of India in the parliament. The Bornfree also has been wokring on peace issues in order to bring out peace and friendship between India and Pakistan. The World Largest Love Letter ( as huge as the Chinaswamy Cricket stadium) written and painted by John Devaraj and children of the Bornfree had travelled all over India and crossed the Wagha Border. 100 million children of both countries had signed. In 2008, 35 members have achieved the Peacebycycle, 3000km-historic peace rally from Bangalore to the Wagha Border. We have collected 7000 peace and friendship letters from children of India to children of Pakistan. The school has been performing theatrical pieces about the issue of working children, peace, gender discrimination etc. Please look at and

We want to raise the question of peace through fun and fantasy without even words. It will become a popular show as it involves animals and critical questions are raised through animals and fun.

by former working, street and bonded labour children
We are training children who come from the streets and working backgrounds, orphanage children and they are the main actors and dancers in the show.

Call for Artists and Organizers
Heiwa Zou Resha has to be supported, organized and performed by artists, students, and well-wishers. For the production, we need
1.      Actors
2.      Dancers; can dance in any style
3.      Choreographers; can choreograph dance pieces
4.      Musicians; who can perform lively at the show
5.      Costumers; costume design and manage costumes during the show
6.      Properteers; manage properties of the performance during the show
7.      Mask-Makers / Puppeteers
8.      Photographers; who can document the process and the show
9.      Backstage Supporters
10.  Coordinators; who can coordinate with artists and various children’s organizations
11.  Technicians ( Sound and Lights)
12.  Fundraisers; who can approach cooperates and individuals

Heiwa Zou Resha Tentative Schedule
Ø  October 2010~January 2011; Creation of Music / Recording
Ø  Rehearsal;
Monday to Sunday; At National College, Jayangar 6:30~8:30 pm ( Adults’ and Children’s sections)
Tuesday and Saturday; At Diviya Shanthi, Lingalargipuram 4:30~6:00 pm ( Children’s sections only)
Ø  Puppet-Making; at the Bornfree Studio, Narayan Nagar, off Kanakapura Rd
Ø  April; Intensive Trainings for artists
Ø  May; the 1st Show in Bangalore, Chennai and other cities
Ø  August; Performance at Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and other 5 cities of Japan

Production Cost
music recording
music studio rental (3 days )
Editing Charge; 10 days
music CD making ( incl. labeling, printing )
1000 copies
Video DVD with the cover and printing
1000 copies
materials, stitching, designing charges, costumes guard robes, boxes ; 73 kinds of costumes ( approx.Rs.1000 per costume )
rubber masks; Nos.50 X 2000
property making
material cost, design and making cost etc
music system
speaker, DVD player
rental charge
place rental charge Rs.100 X 100 days
30 people X 90 days X Rs.20
Book making
1000 copies, color, laminated
poster printing
1000 copies, color
flier printing
2000 copies
bus pass / petrol ; Rs.50 X 30 X 100 days
Rs. 7000 X 3 months
Rs.10,000 X 5 months

We request you to support the Heiwa Zou Resha, which will result in liberating children from toil. We request you to bring like-mind friends and families to make this production successful.

John Devaraj
Artistic Director

Bornfree Art School
Ph; 9886306366, 9886011830