“Konchavaram” is more than a film for its maker and the novelist on whose work it is based. It is an attempt to hold a mirror to the Banjara community in their own language.
Director P. Umesh Naik and novelist Nagalakshmi Bai said that the Banjara-language film, which is in the Chitra Bharati competition section of the Bengaluru International Film Festival (BIFFes), is based on shocking incidents that happened in a Banjara thanda (settlement) in Gulbarga district where girl children, only a few days old, were sold. “Women here were forced to have many children until they had a male child. The third, seventh and eleventh child was often sold as they were considered ‘inauspicious’,” said Ms. Nagalakshmi, adding that there was an inquiry instituted into the matter more than a decade ago , but its findings never made public by the government.
“We hope that our film will help stop this practice which continues even to this day,” said Mr. Naik, adding that he hopes to release the film soon in the villages around Gulbarga and parts of Andhra Pradesh where there are a large number of thandas.
“We hope the people there connect with our film as it is in their own language,” he said.