Bengaluru International Film Festival

Learning from the daughters

Director Hemanth Kumar speaking about his film Sonesarik Beti (The Golden Daughter)

Director Hemanth Kumar speaking about his film Sonesarik Beti (The Golden Daughter)  

Director Hemanth Kumar’s film on the travails of the Banjara or Lambani community of north Karnataka — Sonesarik Beti (The Golden Daughter) — featured in the ‘Unsung Incredible India’ section at the 9th Bengaluru International Film Festival.

The film focuses on the debt and suicide situation among farmers in the community, says Mr. Kumar, adding that he made it with the aim of offering solutions to the problem. He believes that there is a lot to learn from the daughters of the clan who handle their responsibilities well and take their lives forward despite their limitations.

He said many farmers are sticking to traditional crops and not moved on to less resource-intensive ones. As so many of the farmers are uneducated, they get cheated by people palming off defective seeds to them. Their crop fails and they thus get stuck in an endless debt cycle, Mr. Kumar said. Sonesarik Beti also touches upon how the farmers can benefit from moving on to floriculture, he said.

“There’s also a system where people go off on ‘gule’ — when because of lack of rain they go off to Mumbai and Goa, abandoning their settlements for six months, to earn a livelihood. This denies their children proper, continuous education. I have kept in mind the ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ scheme that stresses [the importance of] educating the young girls in the community,” said Mr. Kumar.

He has been making films in Banjara language since 1994.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 4:00:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Learning-from-the-daughters/article17203217.ece

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