Announcements, Politics, Race

Tehelka reporter Sonia Faleiro has written a wonderful story about Chharanagar, which she’s posted up on her blog, along with some pictures she took when she was there. (She used one of my pictures for the print edition!)

The community’s children accept this police presence in their lives with equanimity. Says 13-year-old Haresh Macherekar, Our parents make a lot of alcohol, but if they didn’t we would starve. When they return from jail they warn me, when you grow up don’t become like us, otherwise the police will beat you as well.’” His parents needn’t worry. Macherekar is an avid student involved in the Budhan Theatre Group — steered by filmmaker Dakxin Bajrange and journalist Roxy Gagdekar, two Chharas using what they believe is an inherent gift their people possess, to change the lives of their community’s youth. Explains Bajrange, We abhor violence; our thefts never involve murder. We draw the victim into conversation, captivate him so he never realises when his bag has been snatched from his hand. Such talent can be used for bad, or, as we do in Budhan, for good, in theatre.”

Getting this kind of attention for the community and for DNTs in general was one of our goals in making Hooch and Hamlet in Chharangar, so a story from an important paper like Tehelka really means a lot to us. Even better that the story was so ably handled by Sonia. She is an excellent reporter and I highly recommend bookmarking her blog. (And I’m not just saying that because she mentions the film.)

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