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Filmmaker falls to death from train

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C. Saratchandran
C. Saratchandran

Staff Reporter

Thrissur: The bodies of environmentalist and filmmaker C. Saratchandran, 52, and Sebastian, 45, were found on a railway track near Nelluvai on Wednesday night.

The police said they fell from the general compartment of the Guruvayur-Chennai Express around 10.30 p.m.

“The compartment was packed beyond capacity. The rush is suspected to have caused the accident,” a police officer said.

Saratchandran was travelling from Thrissur to Ernakulam and Sebastian to Angamaly. According to his friends, Saratchandran had come to Thrissur from Kochi on Wednesday to attend a wedding reception. The body was taken to Thiruvananthapuram. It would be cremated at Thycaud on Friday.

Sebastian is a native of Ambalavayal in Wayanad.

Staff Reporter in Kochi adds: Saratchandran was born in 1958 to N. Chandrasekharan Nair, renowned Hindi scholar and founding president of Kerala Hindi Sahitya Academy, and Sarada, daughter of social activist and Gandhian M.P. Manmadhan. He was married to Sudha, administrative staff at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam. At the time of death, he was working on documentaries on industrial pollution caused by a gelatine factory in Thrissur and on the present condition of Chaliyar River.

Body of work

Saratchandran had directed many documentaries like Save the Western Ghats March: The Kerala Experience (1987); No to Dams: A Pooyamkutty Tale (1988); Ellam Asthamikkum Munpe(1989); Kanavu (Dream), a film on a tribal children's commune in Wayanad (2001); Evicted from Justice – a video report on Muthanga massacre (2003); Your's Truly John, a video essay on John Abraham, the film maker (2008); and To die for land – the ultimate sacrifice, on Chengara land struggle.

His association with P. Baburaj resulted in films like Chaliyar…The Final Struggle (1999), which won The Bronze Tree Award, Vatavaran 2002; and The Bitter Drink (2003) on the Plachimada struggle against Coca-cola plant.

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