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Indian’s fight against child marriage in focus at Abu Dhabi fest

Indian’s fight against child marriage in focus at Abu Dhabi fest

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Abu Dhabi :The spotlight was once again on India at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, courtesy a British filmmaker. Kim Longinotto in ‘Pink Saris’ depicted the evils of child marriage and the caste conflict in the interiors of northern India – and a woman’s fight to bring about change.

In her docu-drama shot in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Longinotto shows how families often marry off girls at a young age, how they are mistreated by their in-laws – physically abused by the husband and sometimes raped by the father-in-law – and how often caste conflict plays a villain for lovers.

The docu-drama evoked a mixed response from film buffs at the festival here.

Longinotto, who shot her documentary in Atarra near Banda in Uttar Pradesh, says she is not seeking any recognition for her film.‘My aim is to create awareness. I don’t want any awards or money,’ Longinotto told IANS.Produced by Channel 4 at a budget of 170,000 pounds, the film revolves around 50-year-old Sampat Pal, founder leader of a women vigilante group called ‘Gulabi Gang’ in Banda district.

A victim of child marriage, she left her village after being mistreated by her in-laws and now champions the cause of women’s liberation in her own unique way.‘Sampat is quite famous. All Sampat is trying to do is to bring change. Wherever Sampat goes, people assemble around her and listen to what she says. Everybody is scared of her,’ said Longinotto.

Sampat’s characters reminded members of the audience of former police officer Kiran Bedi, who brought many changes in Tihar Jail in Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati.

The director shows the problems of girls who are married off in their adolescence through Rampyari and Niranjan even though child marriage is illegal in India.

With Rekha and Renu, she shows caste conflicts affecting young lives.Rekha, who belongs to a Dalit family, is in love with an upper caste boy whose parents are opposed to their relationship


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