Vol. 5 Num 227 Wed. January 12, 2005  

Chakachak: A film on environmental issues
Environmental degradation has a new champion in Indian film director Sai Paranjpye. With a trail of brilliant films like Sparsh, Chashme Buddoor and Katha behind her, she has turned serious "development" subjects into Ęthought provoking yet thoroughly enjoyable cinema (as seen in her Angootha Chhap on adult literacy).

She has now come up with a brand new children's film on environmental conservation.

Titled Chakachak, the film revolves around the activities of a group of eight children, Apurva, Ranjit, Shyamu, Charu, Mishti, Naushad, Jugnu and Dhishum. Shocked by the increasing environmental degradation of their citydirt, squalor, crowded roads, noisy neighbourhoods, blaring loudspeakers, polluted water, smoky skies and ever increasing heaps of garbage-- they firmly decide to act.

Soon, the children form the Chakachak Toli. The aim of this project is to clean up and influence the neighbourhood about the merits of environment protection. The children start the segregation of dry and wet wastes, make vermicompost pits, get the parents to use cloth bags and prevent littering at bus stops. They even pick up brooms to assist municipal staff in cleaning the streets. In the process, they succeed in transforming not only their surroundings, but more difficult, the mindset of the neighbourhood.

As Paranjpye told the audience during the premier of the film, 'I have made the film with children, because only they are now capable of leading the fight against environmental degradation in this country. The adults have failed miserably." Funded appropriately by the Pune Municipal Corporation and the Petroleum Conservation and Regulation Authority, among others, the funfilled film was premiered on Children's Day in India.

Source: Down to Earth, India

Sai Paranjpye