Monday, November 02, 2009










The sky unusually looked so red,
The air was like fire,

A fierce goddess entered the villages,

And killed the people with dis
eases,
So people remained in their homes,
And did not go outside, In this great famine,

S
ome died and some survived

Lines from ‘Durbhikshya Boli’ - a poem by poet Sri.Manohar Meher from Sinapali, who witnessed the seven famines of 1899.

This documentary film talks about one hundred years of drought and lore in the districts of Kalahandi and Naupada in Orissa and its impact on the lives of tribes - Gond and Bhunjia. Produced by National Folklore Support Centre (Chennai), in collaboration with Adibasi Sanskruti Gabesana Parishad (Orissa) as a part of Orissa Digital Community Archive Project. Funded by Ford Foundation.

Details of the film in NFSC site

Thanks to Mr. M.D. Muthukumaraswamy ( Director NFSC) for giving me this project and Mr. Mahendra Kumar Misra (ASGP) for helping me realize it.

I learned a lot while doing this film - Simple facts like, my life in Kerala and metros in India never told anything about India. As Gandhi said India’s heart is in her villages. In a way one can call India, a big village. Though the project started with the plan of representing the effect of drought in those regions, what I saw was - the tribes were not only suffered from the drought but they were even badly affected by landgravers and corrupted officials. They were displaced form their own land. Gonds shifted to Raipur, remains a living truth of displacement. Interviews with Mr. Ravi Das, Secretary (Kalahandi Vikas Parishad) also proved this fact.

As Amarthya Sen says in ‘Poverty and Famine’(1981)

“Starvation is the characteristic of some people not having enough food to eat. It is not the characteristic of there being no food to eat”

2 comments:

Susan Deborah said...

Liked the Amartya Sen quote.

Happy that you get to make some 'real' documentary films after your short films which lean towards fiction.

All the best!

Cockroach said...

Hi Susan, Thanks for the comment. I really don't take both fiction and docu different. Both has its own depth. If one is heart, then the other is soul. I do accept that row docu films gives a diff kind of satisfaction for being truthful to an idea and situation.Btwn try watching fiction that r molded in documentary pattern. Sure u like them.

Thanks