Study in contrast A `sister act' against child labour

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MIXING REEL AND REAL: Madhurya (right) and Yogamaya filming the documentary in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: K.R. Deepak
MIXING REEL AND REAL: Madhurya (right) and Yogamaya filming the documentary in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Sumit Bhattacharjee

Canada-based siblings capture plight of street children in documentary

VISAKHAPATNAM: They can easily pass of as tourists from the West. But the sister-duo, Madhurya and Yogamaya are Vizagites settled in Toronto, Canada. And they are here to shoot a documentary on child labour.

The project is the brainchild of Madhurya, the older of the siblings. She has just graduated from high school. The duo comes almost every year to visit their grandparents in the city.

"From childhood I was interested in social work. I have also completed a couple of courses on conflict resolution and peacekeeping and international laws which are offered by the United Nations. It is my dream to work for the development of children in India and Africa," says Madhurya.

Why child labour?

"Children are our future and all over the world they are subjected to deprivation, especially in the third world and developing nations. Browsing through the Internet, I stumbled upon a site on Childline, an NGO engaged in the development of street children. I decided to shoot a documentary during my next holidays, and here I am," says she.

Her focus is on the children who live on railway platforms and footpaths. After interacting with the children, she feels that they have accepted the way of life. "There is an air of contentment about them. They sleep on pavements, eat leftovers and buy drugs with whatever little they earn. My documentary focuses on their lifestyle. It is a realistic film showcasing both negative and positive side of their life," says Madhurya.

Her goal is to highlight child labour and child deprivation, both mental and physical, mostly through real life case studies. She intends to showcase her film at various universities, institutions and international fora in Canada, the US and UK to attract researchers and funding agencies.

"The issue needs more international attention and a collective public awareness campaign. My ultimate desire is to see that these children get the due share of liberty, freedom, respect and a good life," avers she.

She has already shot most of the 45-minute film and intends to go back to Canada in August.



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