The children’s ward at the Civil Hospital Belagavi was abuzz with laughter and giggles as the Clownselors, came in and made them laugh. They were part of Clownselors, an organization started in 2016 by Sheetal Agarwal, an M.Phil. in Social Anthropology from the University of Delhi and a Masters in Sociology from JNU. The term ‘Clownselor’ is a combination of Clown and Counselor, bringing together the amusement that a clown provides along with the training of a counselor.
The activity was supported locally by Khula Asmaan which is trying to see theater in alternate spaces which is a new dimension in Belagavi.
Clown Care, also known as hospital clowning, is a program in health care facilities involving visits from specially trained clowns. These visits to hospitals have been shown to help in lifting patients’ moods with the positive power of hope and humor. There is also an associated positive benefit to the staff and families of patients.
The clowns were part of Clownselors, comprising a bunch of individuals who visit children’s wards in hospitals and dance, perform plays and interact, all with the intention of putting a smile on the faces of the children, their parents, doctors and nurses.
Clownselors now visit old age homes, special homes, shelter homes for children, slums, refugee camps, mental homes, orphanages. Free hug Campaigns are also organized to spread love, happiness, and positivity.