Being witness to the plight of school children in rural areas and migrant workers, who returned home from cities during the lockdown, 24-year-old Arochi N.D. has shot a movie on what he saw. The engineering graduate returned to his native place Harogolige in Thirthahalli last year after his studies, to prepare for competitive exams for civil services.
He came across migrant workers, who were stopped from entering their village, and students of rural schools struggling to get internet connection to attend online classes. With the experience he had acquired on making short films during his time in college, Arochi prepared a script and shot a movie with his Canon 700D camera.
The story revolves around two students who get separated after the lockdown over COVID-19. While one goes to his uncle’s house in a city, the other stays in the village, waiting for his father, a migrant worker, to return home. The contrasting environments that the characters are exposed to is the crux of the movie.
The city boy gets good internet connectivity, attends online classes, watches movies and listens to some lectures on his mobile phone. The village boy is busy with agriculture, listening to the radio. The boy in the village struggles to call his father over the phone as there is no network. He has to walk about five kilometres in search of better connectivity.
Arochi told The Hindu that the film is based on what he saw. “I made use of resources available in the village to shoot the movie,” he said. With the support of his father Nempe Devaraj, a journalist and activist, and mother Y.M. Sudha, principal of government pre-university college at Thirthahalli, Arochi spent over ₹15,000 to make the short film.