Being responsible

Lungi Dance is still lingering in my mind, but we’ve started our second project from the beginning of week two. The project aims to film a documentary of local NGO in India, so we’ve been divided into three groups shooting different NGOs or topics. Documentary is my favorite genre of media, so I’m thrilled to film an aspect of reality in other country. India is well-known for competitive education environment, but not all of Indian children are being educated because of poverty. The poverty is one of major social issues in India, and there is a strong correlation between lack of education and poverty. Poor people aren’t usually educated because they can’t afford studying, so they are less likely to get hired and again they don’t make much money. Therefore, poverty is passed to next generation and it is being continuous. In order to solve this big problem, SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai (SPJIMR) has a unique social intervention program called Abyudaya. Students from SPJIMR are required to mentor one child each from Municipal Schools in the vicinity. Recognizing Abyudaya‘s effort to encourage children’s talents and dreams, I’ve chosen Abyudaya among other NGOs for the documentary project. After gathering into groups and having a discussion, our team has decided to film about the impact of Abyudaya on children’s lives in general.

The shooting began with the interviews of mentors and mentees on Thursday, and I was in charge of sound design. It was my first time dealing with audio, and I thought it would be easy. Turn on the recorder and hold the boom mike. That’s it. However, as the shooting started, I realized that I’d looked on sound design. No matter how I pose to hold the mike, the muscle pain penetrated  my shoulder quickly. Moreover, a natural feature of documentary, uncontrolled environment, made the shooting harder. Since documentary is non-fiction and based on originality, we tried to shoot the place as it was. Unfortunately, the noises of car, airplane, bird, wind and construction hindered recording the clear and loud voice of interviewers. Therefore, we closed all the windows and turned off the fans in the classroom to block off the noise. Standing to hold the boom mike for more than four hours in the classroom of hot temperature, I was sweating from head to toe and get like burning. After the shooting, I suffered from muscle pains and heat exhaustion. Also, the recorder didn’t last more than one hour, so I was worried about it running out of battery. Hence, I couldn’t relax any moment during the shooting.

Despite the harsh condition of shooting, I enjoyed the filming because there were ‘sitaras’ who are students in Abyudaya. We interviewed sitaras of Vandana and Manisha who waited half a day for their turns but never complained. They were rather smiling and even willing to help us during the shooting. Although they don’t live in affluence, they study hard and they’ve been selected as the mentees of Abyudaya. The stories of their interviewers were mostly heartbreaking, and I’ve realized how much I’d been privileged. After spending a day with these sitaras, I felt responsible for producing this documentary for sitaras who live in hope and dream.




One thought on “Being responsible

  1. I have actually thought of this particular post every single day since you put it up to be read. I have thought about it at work as I was cashiering and then husking box after box of corn at Wegmans (ergonomically, of course; it is Wegmans, after all) and I have thought about it in my leisure time as well. To be economical, the first word will be “ergonomics.” (See CDC link). I then remembered one of the student posts talking about meeting someone famous in Bollywood who instructed the student to not hesitate to speak up in order to “send the too-spicy noodle back to the kitchen” so that the student could have a more enjoyable dining experience. I’ve decided that Bollywood director knew exactly what she was speaking of and gave the SU student excellent life advice that needs to be applied to more than noodles for increased happiness in your profession! There is an acronym: DEAR MAN that I use in such situations: “Describe the situation using FACTS only, Express how you feel about it; Ask for what you would like or what you don’t want to happen; Reinforce by informing what the benefits will be of getting what you need or the consequences of not getting what you need; thank the person for their cooperation; Remain MINDFUL, that is, stay in the moment, stay focused completely on your objective and do not get swayed onto another subject or topic or allow the person to sidetrack you with negativity; Appear Confident; Negotiate if needed. PS The documentary sounds like a very good project. If everyone is uncomfortable, I wonder how it will turn out, though.


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