Progress at a snail's pace or not even that?!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

As a society we love brushing uncomfortable matters under the carpet - even if it means that we blind ourselves as an ostrich does by peering its long neck into a black hole so that it remains oblivious to its surroundings. But, unfortunately, the environment continues to still function in the exact same way!

Irfan Kamal has undoubtedly made an impact in his first movie. Led by Shams Patel, who was awarded the national award, and the Goa Film Festival acclaiming it as the best movie, Thanks Maa is a heart-felt movie that creates a small ripple. This movie is shot through the eyes of street children, their diversities, their challenges but ironically it extends to the entire nation. 

Here are some stark statistics:

  • In 2005, India had the highest number of street children of roughly 11 million
  • Every third malnourished child lives in India
  • In 2005, there were 933 cases of child abandonment and this percentage has been steadily growing at 30% every year since 2000
  • 69% of Indian children ( read 2 out of 3) are victims of physical, social or emotional abuse
  • More than 70% of child abuse cases go unreported/unshared with parents/family
  • 89% of crime is perpetrated by family members
"Thanks Maa" highlights issues related to poverty, malnourishment, child abuse, pedophilia, and sexual harassment by family apart from child abandonment. While seeing the movie, I was reminded of Pinki Virani's "Bitter Chocolate," a book which I left unfinished. The movie is not a gripper, and it loses its way during certain parts., although the direction and acting deserve an applaud. But more importantly it bravely points out social issues that need immediate attention. It encourages one to fight for justice, for what is right and to voice one's concern. There is a certain undercurrent where everyone knows the truth, but when will we be ready to talk about it, let alone face or fight it?

Here's the anti-climax. I went to see the movie in one of the prime malls at Ahmedabad on a Saturday evening. For company, I had 5 others housed in the huge multiplex theatre sitting miles apart from each other! 

In 2010, we still choose to be ignorant.. the fight has not even begun although the epidemic is evident.. but wait its still under the carpet.. lets wait some more..!


shabu said...

this is true of any another country too. Its like the bell curve and will exist no matter what you do.

i recieved this mail about our history and a letter written by one of the british generals then who travels the lenght and breadth of india and he says that he dint see a single poor person or a beggar or a thief. such was our nation then.

its a vicious cycle now with some like you talking about it and dozens of others pushing it deeper under the carpet.

Radhika said...

We can't wipe it off.. but atleast people should be encouraged to talk about it to their children/friends/relatives.. Knowledge and support are 2 most critical aspects to these issues

The stats are alarming and its just getting worse.. sadly..!