Moved by poverty of Korku tribe in Melghat,photojournalist makes a film on malnutrition

Mhadu,EK Mithak looks at the wide divide between urban and rural Maharashtra

Written by Prajakta Hebbar | Pune | Published: September 4, 2013 1:35 am

Photojournalist Sandesh Bhandare after working for a leading newspaper for over ten years realised that what he saw and others saw was different. This prompted him to work freelance and travel to remote parts of the state and showcase the so-called reality. He followed this up with a series of photo essays and books on varied subjects such as Wary,the annual pilgrimage undertaken from Pandharpur to Alandi/Dehu,and Tamasha,the street art of Maharashtra,among others.

During one of his travels,Bhandare came across Korku tribe in Melghat near Amravati. Displaced decades ago by the British,Bhandare found the tribe was among the most malnourished in the country. When he realised his photographs could not depict the grim reality in its entirety,he decided to come up with a Marathi feature film Mhadu,EK Mithak.

Based on a short-story by legendary Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi,the film looks at the wide divide between urban and rural Maharashtra. Shot in areas adjoining the Panshet dam near Pune,the film has been produced and directed by Bhandare

himself.

“One has to start somewhere. I really wanted the Marathi people to see the reality,” said Bhandare at a press conference on Monday.

He added,“The iconic writer immediately gave the rights of her story to me. Looking at my limited budget for the film,she said that I could have her story for Re 1. But I insisted otherwise and paid a token sum as my appreciation.”

The film stars Sarang Sathe,Kailas Waghmare and Rajkumar Tangde among others in the leading roles. Sathe plays the role of a doctor who goes to the remote parts of Maharashtra to provide aid.

The 100-minute film is startling in its clean shot composition. With a rustic background music provided by Sanket Kanetkar and music composed by Swanand Rajaram,the film has songs sung by Suresh Wadekar and Devaki Pandit among others.

One of the USPs of the film is the 18-minute animation sequence created by a team of six students from Fergusson College,Pune. The department of animation even purchased a high-end computer for Rs 5 lakh that had powerful processors to handle such visual effects,added Bhandare.

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