Saturday, 7 February 2009

Zindegi: Break the cycle

Zindegi: Break the cycle   a film by Timothy Gaikwad.  Timothy has produced about 50 films  He showed us this latest 40 min docu-drama whilst on a visit to the Alpha village. 

The plot summary is taken from  Yet another AIDS movie by IMCARES
Zindagi is a story of a 16 year old girl who is trafficked from rural Maharashtra and sold into prostitution in Mumbai. This is a document of Her and many like her who go though this journey through hell. She gives birth to a daughter in the brothels. The little girls too is at the risk of being recruited in this oldest business in the world. Meanwhile certain simple social workers from a nearby church come to her rescue. The daughter is brought-up in a foster home and the mother is reformed. The cycle is broken! But ignorance is bliss. The parallel story shows a fourth generation prostitute. A young male child who is abused by his mother's customers, grows up to be a Hijra and eventually takes over the brothel. No child is safe in the red-light areas be it a male or a female.

There are simple and friendly looking agents lurking in the villages in India, to take advantage of poverty stricken families. They promise domestic jobs for young girls, pay some money to the parents, and then sell the girls in Mumbai's red light areas. This is true. This film contains some bold scenes of torture, post traumatic disorders and the apathy of women and children in prostitution. But above all it gives hope!

And that hope is exemplified by our visit to Alpha village.  A project of IMCARES  (Intermission Care and Rehabilitation Society) based out of Mumbai, where there is a ministry to streetkids.  The village itself is outside Pune and  occupies a plot of land behind an old Anglican Church (now CNI). 

It is not huge by any means, but it is a safe haven.  A smattering of buildings house around 50 boys, who are mainly Aids orphans or come from Mumbai sex workers as well as victoms of the 1993 Latur earthquake in Maharashtra  (there is another home for smaller boys and for Girls)  The 'village' has a small kitchen garden and views of hills around. The sense of care abounds. Lots of smiling faces and happy children playing cricket. 

Timothy Gaikwad is brother-in-law to my CMS colleague Adrian.  He is passionate about his agency Intermission but more about his street-ministry: 
'I am heartbroken and yet challenged to carry out initiatives that will help end this evil practice of child trafficking . We, at Inter-Mission Cares, have recently produced a film on child trafficking called Zindagi — Break the Cycle. Though this ‘A’ certified film (I don’t know for what reason), is suitable for all of India, it is primarily made with the church audience in mind. We attend church every Sunday and warm the pews. We have become so selfish in our worship of God, that we forget that He is a God of the oppressed and of justice. This film is being shown in churches so that we move out of our comfort zones and go out there, raise our voices, expose the trafficking racket, and also, most importantly, accept the oppressed back in society'

You can read more in 'Expressindia' Reeling Life Realities  and in a Tearfund article:  Film brings message of hope.     Intermisison is a part of both  Viva Network and the Micah Network.  The film was supported by Geneva Global   There is even a clip on YOUTube on the making of Zindegi  Just to give you a taster.  You can also watch a clip from another of Timothy's films Masiha Aaya Hain (a Saviour is Come) showiung a Bollywood style dance in a church that is opening its doors to the marginalised.    


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