Gutrun Gutargun: A Love Story With a National Cause!
The film Gutrun Gutargun’s promotional campaign in different cities of Rajasthan is catching the eyes of many in the country and has taken the media by storm because of its strong social message with a dash of love story. The film’s lead actress Asmita Sharma has stirred up a hornets nest by saying that we need to stop treating women as a second-class citizen and take concrete steps to stop gender discrimination in all spheres of life. She says that open defecation and related health issues are century old vices of the society. Though, over the years successive governments have tried to address many social and health issues successfully but it seems to provide basic sanitation facilities to all in the country is still a herculean tasks and a distant dream. Pratik Sharma the Director of the film pitches his movie as a love story between a husband (Shambu) and wife (Uganti). He feels that a social message on open defecation and the right to have designated toilets with an ample amount of entertainment have never been made as feature film till date in our country. His efforts are being appreciated at all platforms by people where the movie has been screened. He is very happy to ad that the state governments of Bihar, Rajasthan and Jharkhand have made Gutrun Gutargun Tax free and this move shall make his movie more accessible to people. The music of Gutrun Gutargun is melodious and gels well with the theme. Rohith Sharma is the music composer of this out of the box film.
According to Pratik Sharma the concept of his movie evolved because of a chance meeting with Mumbai based senior writer and columnist Satyadev Tripathi way back in 2012. Satyadev had narrated an incident to him about a bride who wanted to go to the washroom in the midst of wedding ceremony and in the absence of one she was left with no option but to go out in the open. Praatik felt the need of making his first feature film on this issue of lack of sanitation facilty in rural aras especially those faced by women. He also felt the need to highlight the duality in the society in regard to this issue.
The film and its impressive making made me interact with many across the country on the issue of sanitation, hygiene, women safety and gender discrimination.
Bindu Cherungath, Co-Founder and Director of Insignia Solutions Private Limited who is also a Corporate Trainer, Organization Development Consultant and a known film Critic (www.lenzscope.com) based in New Delhi pitches in to say that the lack of basic right for sanitation facilities is also seen in Metropolitan Cities as well. For instance, she says that when she travel across the country to conduct corporate training programmes she has seen companies having lavatory for men only attached to training halls and no facilities for women. On asking the HR the answer that she receives in response is that women are only a few in number and therefore the lavatory here in this training block is not there but then they have one in another block. It means that a lady need to walk from one block to another block to relieve her. Bindu says she had a similar experience in a fortune 500 PSU where she found no designated toilet for women and she had to ask a male colleague to stand guard in front of gent’s toilet so that she could use it. On asking the women employees of that company told her that the requisition to construct a toilet for women is pending since many years.
Kshema a development practitioner, research scholar, speech therapist and film enthusiast from Bangalore says that experiences from our land shows us that it’s not only just an issue of hygiene. It draws in tangents from caste issue (notion of purity), water scarcity; open defecation even has become a part and parcel of socializing for women who never have a leisure time otherwise. It’s all right here. It’s just that we need to look to see it, see to observe, and observe to bring out the empathetic you. It’s the start. It’s not women versus men rather this is a human issue which need to be dealt on a war footing level. Kshema quickly adds that Guntrun Gutargun has become a trail blazer for many filmmakers to come up with such stories of social inequalities and human rights violations so that the nation and the people at the highest echelons of power act immediately.
R Vinay an M Phil student and a student activist from Ravi Shankar university shares his view on Gutrun Gutargun as a welcome change in storytelling. He feels that such movies shall draw the attention of youngsters like him to take up social issues on social media and engage the student community in more meaningful dialogues for ensuring and implementing social justice. He feels that the initiative taken by the filmmaker and Director Praatik Sharma by asking people to join in to tweet and share stories of their challenges in regard to similar experience of denial of basic right for sanitation is commendable. According to Vinay, #GGWTN (Gutrun Gutargun With The Nation) has caught the fancy of social media enthusiast to make it a full-fledged movement till the issue of open defecation and women safety, health and gender equality is not fulfilled.
Meenakshi Pathak theatre artist and a film enthusiast from Mumbai shares that she is a traveler who loves to visit different parts of the country and while she does that she has gone through the ground reality of lack of designated toilets for women. She has also found that being a patriarchal society it is ok for men to relieve themselves anywhere and at any time of the day but what about women? Meenakshi says if we go through the newspaper headlines every day we come to know that women put themselves in danger by going for open defecation in villages and not so developed parts of the country. She puts her health at risk and also becomes victims of sexual abuse, molestation and rape. Meenakshi Pathak share that she happy to be part of #GGWTN and is keen to see many more joining the ‘Gutrun Gutargun With The Nation’ initiative taken by the film and its makers.
Usha Vallaiyya a high School teacher and a women rights activist from Chhattisgarh says that it’s high time that the ‘Ugantis’ (The onscreen character of Asmita Sharma in the film Gutrun Gutargun) should stop waging their war for the right to have designated toilets at a personal level and should come out in open to unite against this social injustice just like any other movement for human rights in our country and in the world. Usha Vallaiyya vents her anger by saying that ‘Beti Bachao and Beti Padao’, “Khulle Mai Shoch Band Karo’ “Mahilla Paar athyachar Band Karo” sloganeering should go beyond advertisement gimmicks and should translate into real work, which she feels is yet to happen. Being an Educationist she adds that such awareness of rights should be part of curriculum in schools so that men and women stand united for ensuring basic human rights.
Omana Mathew a theologian, Social activist, Kerala Council of Churches Chairperson of Women Commission and the wife of a church priest says that she as a women activist and an educationist has always stood for equal rights for both men and women in churches as well as in society. Omana after hearing the story of the film Gutrun Gutargun is quite elated to know that the film has sparked off a debate in the country. Her everyday interaction with women of different social strata reveals that the lack of designated toilets in the country is a major concern. She tells that there should be Key Responsible Areas KRAs) defined for all government officers and politicians and welfare bodies at all levels to fulfill certain targets every year to build and ensure basic sanitation facilities. And stern actions should be taken against those who doesn’t perform and fulfill the set targets. According to her its hightime that we stop allowing anyone any further to take the nation for granted. Building toilets and other basic sanitation facilities is equally important as building over bridges, roads, envisioning bullet trains and so on and so forth. She adds that unfortunately many girls drop out of studies in villages when they reach puberty because of lack of sanitation facilities in schools. Uganti and her story in Gutrun Gutargun narrates a lot about millions of people in our country.
Professor John Mathews from Kuwait who runs his own chain of Educational Institution, a film enthusiast and the Producer of an upcoming Malayalam film ‘Piplanthari” (a women centric movie that speaks about girl child and the right to be born and live as a girls in our country) strongly vouches for the film ‘Gutrun Gutargun’. He emphatically tells that content driven movies with strong social messages with ample dash of entertainment shall change the country. He believes that cinema is a strong medium for ensuring and creating social justice and creative people should come forward to be part of such movements. He applauds the effort and initiative taken by Praatik Sharma and Asmita Sharma in this regard. He tells he is happy to hear that Gutrun Gutargun is the first film in the country to ever talk about the issue of ‘Open defecation’ and the right to sanitation facilities. He adds that many documentaries have been made on these issues but they lack the quality and the required content to catch hold of the interest of audience. Gutrun Gutargun shall definitely bridge this gap.
David James a Delhi University student and a budding musician happily joins the Gutrun Gutargun With The Nation campaign by saying that as music is for everybody so is human rights. It is not fair for some to hold the privileges to live a better life and a majority to be denied the basic necessities to live a happy and safe life. He adds that the lyrics, music and the story of Gutrun Gutargun is meaningful and relevant. David feels that such movies should be further made and encouraged because it tells and shares the pain of a nation as well as the aspiration of creating a better world to live an excel in all aspects of life.
Gutrun Gutargun after its success in Patna has set its foot in Rajasthan. The film shall release in a number of theater in major cities of Rajasthan on 3rd February, 2017. Asmita Sharma and Praatik Sharma along with their team is holding a series of promotional campaign across the state. Talk shows in colleges, schools, universities, social institutions, government welfare bodies are part of the campaign. The social, print and electronic media has jumped in enthusiastically in response to the campaign. It seems that the wave is going to soon sweep across the nation soon. One can log on to www.facebook.com/gutrungutargun or tweet @gutargun to share their views and stories in regard to the theme of the film and interact with the films crew. Insignia Imprints Inc. Cinema to Masses an organization which believes in content driven cinemas has extended its support to #GGWTN campaign and the film. Bulb Jalega.com an event management firm is actively involved in the campaign and promotion of Gutrun Gutargun.