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(based on the article by Tathagata Bhattacharya-The Week. I captured what the author intended to communicate about this project, reproduced certain printed content to avoid “distortion”)

One amongst a few things, I truly enjoy these days, in solitude, besides relishing the gradual movement of silence to pacify, detoxify the anguished body of mine, is reading thought-provoking articles on many a kind of issue, surprisingly BIG visions by SMALL people. The write-up by Tathagata Bhattacharya on “Little minds and Big visions”  {The Week} has captivated me so much that I felt like highlighting it in my space. Tathagata starts his article with Paulo Freire’s quote  in Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed

….“The idea that hope alone will transform the world, and action undertaken in that kind of naiveté, is an excellent route to hopelessness, pessimism, and fatalism. But the attempt to do without hope, in the struggle to improve the world, as if that struggle could be reduced to calculated acts alone, or a purely scientific approach, is a frivolous illusion”. 

Tathagata Bhattacharya-The Week mentioned that through their film, which was shot almost entirely on the roof of their home on a handheld digital camera, young boys Tapa Bhowmick and Rinku Babu Mondol, inmates of Muktaneer, a home for destitute boys run by {link:Centre for Communication and Development (CCD)} in Madhyamgram, reached out to the International audiences. Their film has been selected for the “Auburn International Film and Video Festival for Children and Young Adults” to be held in Sydney. The film has also been sent to participate in many other International Film Festivals held across such as the “Kids for Kids International Film Festival” in Naples, the “Chicago International Children’s Film Festival”, the “Tehran International Children’s Film Festival” and “Fike, New Zealand”.

…….The author of this article captured the essence of this film in Rinku’s words….”the children play kings of various countries, each king makes a unique declaration. One king says his country will not have any mosquitoes so that children do not fall prey to malaria and dengue. Another promises that children in his country will always play, while another king says every child will receive a certain amount of money so that he does not have to work. But, ultimately, they realize that reality is painfully different. It hurts their conscience and they take an oath to ensure that every child has access to education and health care, and that no child has to work in brick kilns or shrimp farms”.

Rinku, who is adept at Still and Video Photography, who has a natural instinct to capture life, aspires to become a doctor – both to serve poor people and to make money. ‘Í have seen what poverty is. My father passed away when I was very young. We went to stay with my mother’s parents, who, too, were poor. Had the centre not come to my rescue, God knows what would have happened. I have got so much from here. I have to pay back as well”

{link :One more excellently written post on  such brilliant young children : Through the Eyes of Children}

I am both amazed by and proud of this simple yet profound statement from young boys, who, unfortunately can not attend their film screening in Sydney, as their home CCD is now facing severe financial crunch. As mentioned in the article, the home does not have funds for airfare for 40 children. And it also has not received any assistance from the Centre or the State, a few staff members stopped taking salaries, a few walk to work and back to save money.  

I wonder, why can not the National carrier in the skies – The Air India take up the responsibility of carrying aross this brilliant crew to the Island of Kangaroo? Why can not a heritage hotel endorse their basic living facility so that they can represent the country through their honest, truly inspiring endeavor at a film festival of such International a stature? Why can not….if one thinks, one pauses amidst the hustle-bustle of one’s life, there would definitely be many an option. I am astounded by the fact that there are no endorsers from Indian Corporates, for these young Indian boys who are poised to represent India, one of the BRIC economies, a flourishing knowledge economy. Or is this due to inadequate a level of saliency about such accomplishments amongst Corporates ? Political leaders ? Media ? Child Welfare authorities? Bureaucrats ? Obscene amounts of money are wasted for nonsensical pollution as propagated by political campaigns, for parading political representatives in front of some leader who is at the helm of country’s affairs, but no one has enough funds to appreciate a genuine effort by young boys. And I am ashamed when the most so-perceived educated communicators, those blessed with a sharp bend of mind, thought and tongue, do not even have the courtesy to raise some intelligent noise about the same. Perhaps, they may write about these boys post-their struggle to reach newer heights and Celebrityhood, later in life. 

Thanking Tathagata Bhattacharya of The Week! One’s social conscience needs to be awakened and its momentum to be sustained through capturing such precious journeys embarked upon by individuals – a child or an adult, to a large extent, go unnoticed by the materialistic world. Articles penned by individuals like you would nourish one’s forever-sagging social conscience, especially, in the forever-getting richer society where more and more families fumbling their way into “Nouveau Riche” segment, who pamper young blighters to a dismally disappointing  extent that everything comes to them “gift-wrapped”, with zero-efforts, while a majority struggle on the streets for a handful of rice.

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