Sunday, June 13, 2010

Feature Film on Sex Trafficking

Finally after using many tools to sensitize the communities, I feel the compelling urge to make a feature film on sex trafficking. Is it too ambitious? Still my conviction to make one is not changing. This urge is not fact it is more than a year old. Some real life instances became the triggering point...Rajesh my husband gave it a shape in the form of a powerful story & a screenplay which is targeted at a mass audience. I am definitely sure I want to make a film that touches the masses and gains critical acclaim. And so Durga was born. So why am I blogging?
Largely to seek your support.
What we have?
-A powerful script
-A sensitive internationally acclaimed director willing to work freely
-A sensitized credible technical team willing to work freely
-A potential for making the film tax free in Andhra Pradesh
-And a minimal working capital

What we need?
- To raise Rupees 1 crore ( need not be a single investor or better still a donor, even if a 100 persons join and make it happen it will be great.
-To search and identify talented fresh faces( to play the lead and other characters) who should at least speak telugu.
-To get houses, hotels,farm houses, resorts as locations free of cost.
- To find media partners for promotion
-To find a good distributer

What we want to achieve?
-Target a large audience to sensitize on the issue of sex trafficking
-Ensure commercial viability to support our work.
-Shake all existing trafficking networks in AP by way of presentation of reality.

Now I am seeking support...hopefully one of you will respond.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Insecurities and fears of an activist

It has been a long time since I blogged. I am not going to give excuses of work pressure or other crises which is a day today package for all of us who are fighting similar battles. It is simply a case of emotional crash. It all started with somebody stealing 4500$ from my handbag. This is the money I have been saving for the last 18years from my various international tours. Whenever we are invited for an International seminar or a conference we are paid a per diem for our stay. Being a full time volunteer in Prajwala I do not a draw a salary. Before my marriage it was imperative that I do some kind of consultancy work outside the organization to sustain my living, so these per diem become a source of income for my sustenance.Most often I would skip meals to save this money.And being a finicky Indian vegetarian helped, as my options were any way limited and so a lot of money was saved foregoing meals. After marriage of course saving for sustenance became a lower priority and buying a gift for my husband a compelling need.
For some reason I have always resisted converting this amount into Indian currency. Maybe because we as activist do not get a credit card. So for some unknown reason it made a lot of sense to carry all these dollars in the hand bag just as a security in cases of emergency.And the few times I was able to exercise this option,I was more than ever convinced that my handbag is a better place than a bank or a locker. For years it was safe and one day it was all stolen and I realized it just 15 minutes before I left for the airport to attend a conference in Geneva.
Something within me crashed. I had a hollow feeling in my stomach(it has still not gone). For years I used to tell Raj, my husband that this amount is my back-up for all the surgeries I have to have, for my care if I am bedridden and of course for my funeral. And suddenly it was all gone without a trace. And absolutely no clue about who or when?
For the first time I pondered whether it was a wise decision to work as a full time volunteer, not having either a regular income or savings. What happens to people like us when we are sick or bedridden and need financial support. Should I then seek charitable support? Of course I have done it in the past whenever I was beaten I received free medical treatment by altruistic doctors. Maybe it is my mid-life crises that I have become very insecure and the fear of being penniless on the road suddenly is a scary option. For the first time I wondered what will happen to me if my marriage did not work out...and I realized under the grab of a courageous activist lies a very insecure person who craves for all the securities/safety that other people toil hard to create.
And here I thought I was different...and sometimes when people called me a saint( sometimes I nearly believed it)...what a sham!
Today I know for sure that I am no different from others, I also crave for securities/safety, maybe my need is not strong enough to make that as my first priority but definitely it is strong enough to shake my insides once in a while...
As I muse on my goes on...rescues continue...and thankfully throughout this ordeal even for a single moment I have not regretted my choice to fight sex trafficking as my life mission.