31 July, 2021

The Thousand Ways Of Seeing

Innocence doesn't hinder them. These kids make biting films on themes burned in their hearts.

The Thousand Ways Of Seeing
No lights, camera, action for this film unit. Twelve-year-old Pushpa is ‘reporting live’ from a desert school camp in Rajasthan, trying to adjust her Sony Handycam on the tripod and, without a disconnect, her dupatta too. She’s making a 10-minute film on the scars child marriages leave on a girl’s psyche. She should know: like her peers in this school, Pushpa too was married—about four years ago, at the tender age of eight. The film, Balika Shivir, has been researched, scripted, planned, shot and produced by Pushpa and her team for the NGO Plan India’s ‘Children Have Something To Say’ video project.

Since 2000, Plan India has worked with over 300 poor children from across the country and has produced 36 such films. The storylines? Everything the children think concerns them: gender inequality, sexual abuse, child labour, dowry system. In June this year, Children Have Something To Say won the prestigious One World Media Award 2003 for special achievement. Says Shonu Chandra, an independent filmmaker and the soul of the project: "This project goes way...

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