Before interacting with the students and the teachers at the night schools,I had visualised night school as a place where poor,illiterates and people living on the streets are forced to study. But my perception has completely changed now. The students here have great desire to learn and excel in life, said Mansingh Pawar,writer and director of the Marathi film Night School,that goes on floor this Gudi Padwa on March 23. The director visited and studied over 30 night schools across the state,including Pimpri Chinchwad Night School.
The film stars some of the known names of the Marathi cinema including Sandeep Kulkarni and Prasad Pandit. While Pandit will essay the role of a social worker who works for a night school,Kulkarni will portray a role of a teacher of an international school.
When Kulkarnis character Deshpande receives the award for best teacher,he is challenged by a social worker who says that teaching the students of elite schools is no big deal as they are blessed with all the privileges in the world. Ones true calibre can be judged if he is able to teach students whose basic needs are also not fulfilled, said Pawar,who himself runs a small school at his village in Satara district.
A part of the film will be shot in citys Aditya Birla Research Centre and Pimpri Chinchwad Polytechnic College and the rest will be shot in Panvel and Mumbai. The film will throw light on the lives and the hardships faced by these students who work for more than 8-10 hours before coming to schools. They struggle to do their best and have keen desire to excel in life. The film will also inspire the students studying in such schools not to lose heart and continue putting in efforts, said Nitin Mavani,the producer of the film.
The inspiration behind the concept of Night School is the wide difference that exists in our education system,said Pawar. Ironically,when it comes to education,the country is divided into affluence and deprivation. The gap is too vast to be filled. On one hand,we have students who dont have proper classrooms or event drinking water in their schools and on the other hand,we have those who sit in A/C classrooms with state-of-the-art facilities, he added.
The writer-director got an opportunity to get some more insight into his subject around two months ago when around 400 teachers working in the night schools across the state had gathered in Mumbai for a seminar. Pawar said that most of the teachers had the same story about their respective schools.