India is going through the worst water crisis this year. Bad monsoons over the years, use of potable water in factories and ignorance towards Environment has run havoc in many states of the country. But, what the policy makers of this country could not learn in debates and discussions in the parliament, people of a small village called Baghuvar in Madhya Pradesh learned by following principles of Mahatma Gandhi, popularly knowns as Swaraj. Yes, this village not only has enough ground water now to survive for years in any drastic environmental situation but it also has many firsts which are still a dream for thousands of villages in India.
The unique ways of water conservations and water harvesting in this tiny village of Baghuvar are very well captured on screen by filmmaker and senior journalist Pankaj Shukla in his latest documentary called Swaraj Mumkin Hai, this film was released on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal by Padma Shri award winner Mr. Vijay Dutt Shridhar in a very Gandhian way. This release function was held in Dushyant Kumar Smarak Pandulipi Sangrahalay, which is also fast becoming a tourist place for Hindi poetry lovers. Mr. Shridhar also released a book on the making of this film, which is written by Maya Vishwakarma and edited by maker of the film Pankaj Shukla.
During the function, speakers put forward their great concern about policies and their execution at village level. Mr. Sridhar said that without valuing our culture, traditions and ancient thoughts about strengthening village independence, no development has any value for a common man. And, it is a pity that leaders of today do not want villagers to know their rights and do not wish to make villagers part of the development programs. He hailed Pankaj Shukla for leaving his luxurious life of Mumbai and to reach to a village in Madhya Pradesh where not many leaders of even that are have reached so far.
When asked about why did he chose to make a full length documentary film on Baghuvar? Director Pankaj Shukla explained it in detail. He said, “Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been advocating for one ideal village per year in every parliamentary constituency to his MPs. But we are yet to know more about it. We chose to release this film at a time where again Central Government is running Gram Uday Se Bharat Uday program in each and every village of India. If we could make one Baghuvar in each block of our country, the development of village will be manifolds within few years. But someone has to take onus of it. Development of any village can be done only by the villagers of that village like people of Baghuvar did in their village. This is a live model of Self Sustainable village in India and government should bring more and more Gram Pradhans here for tour so that they can replicate Baghuvar model in their villages as well.”
The documentary titled Swaraj Mumkin Hai elaborates on how by transparent utilization of government funds and by involving every resident of the village, a village can transform itself into a self-sustainable village. The film is of 40 Minutes duration and it encompasses all the major work done in this village like Bio Fuel, Organic Agriculture, Water Harvesting, Hygienic ecosystem, Education for All, Toilets in every home and many others. The film’s premier was also done for the villagers of Baghuvar in a function at the village itself where people from more than 100 villages participated and enjoyed the documentary. An NGO Sukarma Foundation has come forward to take this film to maximum villages and organize shows to educate the villagers for self-development of their villages. Veteran Music Director and Narrator Mr. Brij Bhushan has lent his voice for this movie, while Hitesh Prasad, the famous percussionist has given back ground music in the film. Senior camera person Neeraj Tiwari has done cinematography for the film. Around fifty percent money used in making the film has come from crowd funding, rest of the funds have been donated by Mumbai based production company Sound N Clips productions.