Youd think that a documentary titled Life Apps: Indias Software Heroes would be about geeks. It is,and more. The plight of farmers in India drew me to this subject, says director Arjun Pandey,about his latest film that was screened in Delhi on Friday. Shot in Delhi and rural Andhra Pradesh,Life Apps follows Sachin Gaur,a computer engineer,as he develops a mobile application for farmers.
From the dusty lanes of Hauz Khas Village to the streets of Hyderabad,the film narrates how 29-year-old Gaur talks to farmers and researchers about agricultural problems and areas of improvement. I chose Andhra Pradesh as the focus of my documentary because this is the one state where the number of farmers suicides has reduced over the last few years. I didnt want to talk only about the negative aspects of Indian agriculture,but also the positives, says Pandey.
The 30-minute documentary,filmed over three months,concludes with Gaur developing a user-friendly mobile application for Android phones that can be used even if the user is illiterate as it requires only audio and video responses.
The App allows farmers to share information about pesticides and crop cycles. One woman,for instance,uploads the image of an organic pesticide for cotton which is accessed by a farmer is a faraway village.
The film was recently screened at the Rio Summit 2012 and Gupta says that he is in talks with mobile phone platforms who want to make the app available to their users as well.