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Palla Performance

Story Photo

Photography by Renee De Shay 19MPH

Renee De Shay 19MPH was on a Global Field Experience trip in India studying sanitation interventions when she took this photo. She writes: “Palla is a traditional form of theater from the state of Odisha, on India’s east coast. Though it was falling out of popularity with the younger generation, the palla has experienced a sort of revival, including being used to disseminate health messages in rural villages. This palla skit portrays Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity, visiting Sriya Chandaluni, a scavenger. Despite Sriya Chandaluni’s low status, Laxmi visits her because of how clean and beautiful her house is. This palla performance was part of a multi-level behavior change intervention to increase latrine use in the Puri district.”

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