ibnlive » India

Apr 12, 2008 at 11:13pm IST

WB activist turns destitute kids into filmmakers

Madhyamgram (West Bengal): In North 24 Parganas of West Bengal lives a homegrown social worker Swapan Mukhopadhay.

Mama to the children in his destitute home, Swapan is a real hero.

Swapan started Centre for Communication and Development (CCD) in 1994 after he saved 365 Indian children from Saudi Arabia who were used in camel racing. It was then that he realised that he had found his life's calling.

Swapan's children home in Madhyamgram was set up in 2001. But unlike any other home, this one goes beyond providing food and shelter. The children are encouraged to dabble in the arts - painting, music, photography and even filmmaking.

And if you are wondering how filmmaking fits into the lives of the underprivileged children, Swapan has a simple answer.

“Film has its international or universal language. You can express yourself very easily with a film and reach everywhere. To reach and accept their voice universally we have chosen them to make the film,” says Swapan.

Of the many films that have made it to international film festivals, some have even won the top prizes at festivals like Kids for Kids International Film Festival at Greece, Italy and Cyprus.

But filmmaking doesn't come cheap, especially in a place like CCD, which is mostly funded by contributions from friends and well-wishers.

For now, the young filmmakers are busy at work at CCD and are ready with their brand new film, which has been selected for the Australian Film festival.

(Swapan Mukherjee's contact address is: -CCD Destitute Children's Home, Baikunthadeb Road, Madhyamgram, North 24-Parganas, Kolkata-700130, Phone 033-25374660, 25371884, Mobile: - 09836231468. To send any assistance/donation for the cause, A/C payee cheques may be issued in favour of 'Centre for Communication and Development' and sent to above-mentioned address.)