The Optimist Citizen

A girl from a deprived community turns Director and all it took was a Donated Camera

Two years ago, Global Shapers Community, Bhopal Hub started a project called Make a Wish Come True. The idea was simple; to do something for the children of the local community and fulfil their wishes. As a part of the project, more than 150 needy children staying at the local slums of Bhopal were given an opportunity to make a wish and write it on a piece of paper. While the little ones wrote things like Barbie Doll, Cricket Bat, Fairy dress, Sport Shoes, School Bags, Story Books, there were a few aspiring teenagers like Pinky who wrote something they had always dreamt of; Pinky wished for a Camera.

I met Pinky for the first time at Parvarish – The Museum School. She was 14 years old then; a young teenager full of energy who showed great interest towards photography. I felt a strong connection with her since we shared the same love for the art of photography. While we were doing Make a Wish project, she not only wrote down her wish, but also wrote how much she loves to click and why she needed a Camera.

We came across various wishes while sorting the papers but the moment I read CAMERA, I got emotional and I was keen on coming forward to grant her wish. I started thinking on how to go about it. I already had a collection of cameras and I was too attached to all of them since they were hard earned. It was equally difficult for me to give away one of them. But then it struck me, since I do not use all of them, why not pass it on to someone who really needs it and cannot afford it at the moment. I finally gave one of my first digital cameras to Pinky and granted her wish.

Months passed by and I used to meet Pinky occasionally to check how the camera is working. I got her a new memory card, batteries etc. and we discussed the basics. Sometimes she even showed me what she was clicking. After a year, I moved to Noida and almost forgot about the Camera.

It has been two years now to all this and I received a message last night that really amazed me. It came from Mrs. Shibani Ghosh, Founder of Parvarish – The Museum School; where Pinky and all other children are studying. The message said –“Watch this movie made by Pinky Goyal. You will be happy to know that the entire movie is made by Pinky with the help of the camera gifted by you during Make a Wish programme.”

I could not resist my emotions and called up Pinky’s mom to congratulate them on her efforts. She handed over the phone to Pinky and I could sense how happy she was while talking to me. She thanked me for the support and told me – Didi, aapke hi camera se maine ye movie banayi. When I asked Pinky about the making of the film, she said – One day when I was sitting with a friend, I was constantly thinking about the camera and how to do something better with it. I came up with an idea of making a short film.


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When it came to choosing a subject, we decided to tell the story of our school -Parvarish and efforts of Shibani Mam through the narration and that is why we named it EK KOSHISH. Me and my friends worked on the script, chose actors from Parvarish itself, researched on locations and managed to make a 12 min film within a span of 6 months. We had our board exams that is why it took us so long. Piyush bhaiya edited the movie for us. I am happy that it is ready now and will be screened at various places.

When I spoke to Mrs. Shibani regarding this, she had too many emotions to express. This is what she said – “Life is full of surprises. I never imagined that a day will come when my kids will make a movie on Parvarish – The Museum School. It makes me nostalgic about the days I started the school for these children”. What amazes me the most is that these kids are underprivileged yet they give their best with such limited resources. There is one scene in the movie which is slightly black and white. It is not edited. While Pinky was shooting the scene, electricity went off in their house. But she still managed to complete the recording using the mobile torch light.

Also in the last scene, Raja is holding a microphone which is not even a real mic. They made it with a torn ball and a bamboo stick. With just a basic camera, Pinky has created something extra ordinary and has depicted the reality of her life. That is the power of dreams. The dream I saw 13 years ago is taking shape and I am sure God has stored something great for all these kids.

Today I wonder what can we do to make a difference in someone else’s life? The answer my friend is- A Simple Act of Kindness. We all can do something, however small it may seem and be kind to others. This can create a positive endless ripple throughout our community and widely into the world. I feel so proud of Pinky for taking this up without any formal training in film making and doing this movie with such great zeal and confidence and so happy about the fact that I passed on a part of my dreams to someone who really needed it. All of us have the opportunity and the ability to inject little bit of brightness into someone’s life. So let us be kind and create impacts in the lives of others.

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