Bollywood filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says he intends to make a movie on the struggle of slum children for the basic amenity of a toilet. Mehra was present at an event for the Yuva Unstoppable NGO, with which he has been associated the past two years for the cause of building toilets in municipal schools in various parts of India.
He said: “It is very important to make toilets… I am a filmmaker, I am a writer, so I thought why not make something with this subject. It comes naturally to me to pick up a camera, even start shooting on my mobile… That’s my hobby, that’s my passion, that’s my life.”
He then narrated an incident when he visited a slum in Mumbai and befriended a few children and asked them about toilets. They took him to the top of a mountain where a makeshift toilet was set up with regulated timings regarding when men and women can use it.
They also took him to a far spot where they answered nature’s call. “I asked them what they dream of and one of them said, ‘I dream that a lot of water from the sea will flow here and the river will clean up and then boats would also arrive and then with those boats, we would go to the sea’. It is not just imagination, it is a wonderful dream. I wish to God it comes true one day,” Mehra said.
The children also asked him to observe the high-rise buildings and on the basis of calculations of how many floors and flats in a building, found out that one building has 200 toilets, while they despite having over 1,100 slum homes in their locality, didn’t have any toilets.
Mehra said: “I got inspired and I started writing around that and I wish to make that film one day. Their voices and their stories can reach out to the world. It is a very interesting story because those guys are full of life and I haven’t seen such happy children in the best of the gated communities in the world.” “They celebrate festivals, they dance like nobody’s business, they have dreams.”
Mehra’s next film Mirzya releases on October 7.