Filmmaker keen to make a biopic on Dr Pathak
Founder of Sulabh Sanitation and Social Reform Movement, Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, is truly a real hero of the country. The way he has given new lives to those deemed untouchables in our society and how he has fought for them is noteworthy. Dr Pathak’s journey is one from revolt to revolution indeed.
“God has sent very few angels on earth, and Dr Pathak is one of those them” said Bollywood actress and producer Neetu Chandra during her visit to the Sulabh Gram in New Delhi. She felt very touched after her meeting Dr Pathak. She said that his work is beyond comparison and that we all should learn from him so we can also bring happiness to the lives of people from the oppressed sections of society.
Film on Dr Pathak’s life
Neetu Chandra appreciated Dr Pathak’s work and said that the work he has done his entire life has changed the lives and livelihoods of many people. There should be a beautiful biopic made on him so that the whole world can see his work and get inspired. She said his story is so wonderful and humane that a film on him would definitely make it to international film festivals, including the Oscars. As a producer, Dr Pathak himself showed interest in making such a film.
“Dr Pathak helped me during childhood” – Neetu Chandra
Chandra is a black belt champion in Taekwondo martial arts and has represented India three times at international events. While recollecting an episode from her school days, she said that when she was studying in class 7th, it was for the first time that she had to go out of the country to represent India, but nobody was ready to sponsor her. That is when Dr Pathak helped her and sponsored her to send her abroad. This is why she has such a grateful attachment to Dr Pathak and Sulabh. She described Dr Pathak’s work and the Sulabh Gram as a great innovation.
“Cinema, even in small towns, is a wonderful tool for job creation” – Neetu Chandra
Talking about films, she said that cinema is a great way to create jobs. People get hired in the cinema industry even in small towns. Chandra emphasized promotion of cinema, especially cinema made in regional languages. She said that it is our duty to promote our regional languages. Regarding her production house ‘Champaran Talkies’, she said, “Last year we had made ‘Mithila Makhan’ film in a regional language under a banner. I received the National Award for this film”. She added. The film was been directed by her brother, Nitin Chandra. She said “Recently, we have made a film in Bhojpuri -- ‘Deswa’ which is available on the YouTube channel named ‘Neobihar’”.
This is the first Bhojpuri film in the last 54 years which was shown in India’s International Film Festival in Goa. It was also shown at various foreign film festivals. Chandra said she is working to promote regional language films. At the same time, people are also getting employment at the local level. She said that most of the actors in ‘Deswa’ are from Bihar. At the same time, the environment is more conducive to making films in Bihar. She also voiced her request to the Government to make policies that give subsidies to films.
“My story received a name” – Dr Bindeshwar Pathak
Dr Pathak on this occasion wished Chandra and said that he was so proud that a girl from Bihar is doing such good work. Dr Pathak said, “I am writing my autobiography and was looking for an appropriate title for it and I got it today”.
While listening to his childhood story he said that the scene was very frightening when he touched a person who was considered an untouchable and how his entire family freaked out and started exploring ways to purify his body and soul. Perhaps there was a rebellion against the society that started and that finally turned into a revolution. Therefore, as Neetu suggests, I will name my autobiography -- From Revolt to Revolution.
“Want to present a play at Sulabh” – Neetu Chandra
Chandra mentioned the popular Hindi-Urdu drama -- ‘Umrao Jaan’ during her visit where she has been playing the character of Umrao Jaan for the last several years. In this drama, she plays the character from a 17-year-old girl to a 65-year-old woman. She mentioned that a monologue about the freedom of girls associated in the play. She expressed her hope that she gets invited to the Sulabh village to show her play.
Touring Sulabh Gram
Chandra looked very happy during her tour of the Sualbh Gram. She was curious about the various technologies developed and employed by Sulabh. Firstly, she visited the Sulabh water ATM, where people get pure drinking water of Rs. 1 per litre. She was amazed by the fact that there was an ATM developed for water. While visiting the Sulabh health centre, she was informed about its operations by Dr Namita Mathur about how people get cheaper medical treatment at the Sulabh Health Centre.
Seeing the arrangement of digital payment platforms in the Sulabh toilets, she said that it is very important to stay updated over time. She said “While the government is focusing on digitalization, Sulabh is also becoming digital. This is really very good”
Chandra was very happy to see the in-house sanitary napkins as well as the arrangement of its disposals for women in the toilet for only Rs 2.
She was surprised to see the biogas plant during the Sulabh village tour. Seeing the power and mechanisms of the plant, she said that the government should pay attention to this technology.
She said “This technology is amazing and it can help in reducing pollution. Before anyone from the outside comes and takes this technology to claim it as their own, our government should pay attention to publicizing this technology all over India.”
She used the biogas stove connected to the gas of biogas plants. She even saw the functioning of the gas burner mantle lamp. She followed this by visiting the different toilet models in Sulabh Village.
Sulabh Public School, Employment Initiative
Chandra also visited Sulabh Public School during her tour. School provides education to the children of scavengers and follow the ratio of 60-40. Sulabh is not only providing them with an education but is also focusing on refining their skill development so as to increase their employment opportunities in the future. She was very happy to see this and said that this initiative of Sulabh was very important for the children. From embroidery to typing, beauty care, fashion designing, and sanitary napkins production, the one year course is available to all students in the school. She advised the children to take part in sports and said that sports should be an integral part of life for everyone.
Chandra intently observed every toilet model present in the Sulabh Toilet Museum. From seeing the toilets from the Harappa civilization to the Mughal period, and from the British rule to the present modern toilets, she thoroughly enjoyed her visit to the museum.
On this occasion, the chairman of the Sulabh organisation, SP Singh, expressed appreciation for the initiatives of the government on cleanliness and said that Dr Pathak’s work is now being implemented throughout the country. Singh described cinema as a mirror of our society and said that cinema can be a tool for bringing change and that Chandra is doing that through her work. Abha Kumar thanked Chandra for her visit to the Sulabh village and hoped that he would revisit soon.
Earlier, Chandra was welcomed with bouquets and garlands on her arrival at the Sulabh Gram. Rehabilitated scavengers and the widowed mothers of Vrindavan welcomed her with garlands. Dr Pathak honoured Neetu with a toilet model as a souvenir on this occasion. He also presented his book “The Making of a Legend” written on Prime Minister Modi.
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