By Matters India Reporter
Bilbao, Oct. 29, 2018: A documentary “Behind India, a look from their social movements” has won the Audience Award at the Bilbao International Invisible Film Festival in the Basque Country, Spain.
The documentary was produced by the Basque NGO Calcuta Ondoan (Friends of Calcutta) in collaboration with the Udayani (Awakening) Social Action Forum, a Jesuits social arm of Calcutta Jesuit Province and directed by Fernando Vera Moreno.
Iñigo, director of Calcuta Ondoan and co-scriptwriter of the documentary collected the award on behalf of the people and organizations.
While accepting the award he thanked all the Individual activists and organizations who give voice to the voiceless people in India and who shared their knowledge and expertise with the documentary crew!
The story revolves around the daily life of Santoshi Tudu, an agricultural laborer and a Self Help Group (SHG) member.
Udayani promotes and trains the SHGs using Rights Based Approaches and empowers the rural Dalit and Adivasi women in West Bengal. These women are encouraged to participate in democratic peaceful movements for their rights.
Here Santoshi recollects how she participated in different demonstrations in far away places like Gujarat, New Delhi and Kolkata besides in local areas.
The Documentary tells the story of different movements from the interviews with National Rights Activists and how women have taken a center stage with regard to Right To Food movement in India.
India often appears in the Western media with news related to the economic growth of the country, and not the realities of inequality and poverty suffered by most of its people. The news does not show the struggles and success of social movements and people are not really happy with these lopsided developments.
Calcutta Ondoan, who has worked for almost 20 years supporting different Indian organizations on issues of poverty eradication, gender equality and protection of the environment. And so decided to highlight the work, often invisible, of the Indian Social Organizations that work for the rights of the most disadvantaged communities.
The documentary interviews Rights activists such as Vandana Shiva, Satish Kumar, Irudaya Jothi SJ, Asha Kowtal, Corinne Kumar, Jean Dreze, Anuradha Talwar, Rajagopal PV, Iñigo Eguren, Gauri Kumari, Rejitha G., Sambari Tudu and Manju Singh.
The documentary recorded in Bengali, Hindi, and English will be available with subtitles in Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Oriya and Telegu, English and Spanish.
Last year a short film on ‘Women of light’ had won an award. It is about the solar lamp-assembling Centre run by Udayani and the women are empowered in and through assembling Solar lamp and reaching to the villages around.
The Jesuit Priest, Irudaya Jothi, director of Udayani and one of the activist interviewed in the movie says, this documentary will be speaking to many more people in many part of the world, on India’s people’s movements taking place in India in an attempt to bridge the widening gap between the rich and poor.