Theatre director, writer, actor and filmmaker Sachin Gupta’s upcoming Hindi film Pakhi is the story of a 10-year-old girl, who is trapped in the world of child trafficking. While the subject of prostitution and child trafficking stays a matter of concern, the film, adds Gupta (pictured), aims to address what goes on behind the cruel business which sees the highest violations of agency, freedom, and esteem. “Pakhi is based on true events and the plot explores the depth of societal distress and the value of human lives. The film also talks about the pre-puberty treatments that women are subjected to for the flesh trade to flourish,” says Gupta.
With an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking, Pakhi deals with a subject that is not often talked about. “The film is about survival and triumph over circumstances, and Pakhi, the lead protagonist, strives to bring the society close to a mirror they cannot escape,” says Gupta, whose aim was to get a wider audience think about the subject.
Known for his work in the field of theatre, Gupta has 14 original plays and four screenplays to his credit. He made his film debut with the critically acclaimed Paranthe Wali Gali (2014) and is the winner of the National award ‘Natya Bhushan’ for his work in the field of theatre. Gupta has studied acting from Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, New York, and has learned the nuances of Shakespearean acting from Emerson College in the US. He established the production company Chilsag Motion Pictures in 2012, and has staged more than 100 theatre shows around the world. These include Celebration of Life, Handicapped City and Kailashnath weds Madhumati among others.
Gupta, 39, rues the fact that even after 73 years of Independence we are witnessing child marriage and girls pushed into the cycle of flesh trade. “It is time we talk about what the trade encompasses when lives of women are branded. This film is a sincere effort towards it,” says Gupta, who plans to run a campaign on social media that will highlight the issue. He is also working on three plays based on the works of Manto, Vijay Tendulkar and Amrita Pritam.