| Nidhi, on whose life the film focuses on. Picture by Jai Prakash |
Seventeen years ago, her parents thought of killing her as soon as she was born. Today, the same girl has made her family proud, proving there is only one thing that matters — talent.
Nidhi, whose parents wanted a boy so that he could carry forward the family lineage, is the protagonist of a movie being made by French filmmaker Pascal Plisson. The film titled The Big Day is the story of four deprived children living in different parts of the planet whose life changes on a particular day owing to their success in a given field. Plisson’s On the way to school had won the César Award, the national film award of France for best documentary (2012).
Nidhi has cleared her IIT (Mains) examination and is awaiting the June 19 result of IIT (Advanced) 2014.
Plisson said: “The film provides viewers a glimpse about the success story of four kids living in four different parts of the world. It shows how kids struggle in their daily life to make their way to triumph.” The film is a story of four children living in India, Cuba, Mongolia, while the fourth country is yet to be shortlisted, Plisson said, adding that the film chronicles the journeys these kids face on their path in the quest for a better life.
In India, the film revolves around the success of Super30, a highly ambitious and innovative educational programme that trains 30 meritorious students coming from economically backward sections of the society for India’s most prestigious institution, the IITs. “This is something unique,” Plisson said and added: “This is not found in Europe where kids are educated in such a manner.” The film depicts the efforts and means needed to achieve an end. Dwelling on the other protagonists of the film, he said: “The Cuban story revolves around a boy who becomes a boxing champion, while there is a Mongolian girl who wants to join a circus.”
Speaking to The Telegraph, Nidhi said: “It’s an overwhelming experience so far. I am feeling glad that I came so far. This is the best day in my life where my talent has been recognised. This is a very special day for me.” She too wants to become a professor of mathematics and join IIT as a faculty member.
Nidhi’s father Sunil Kumar Jha, who drives an autorickshaw in the lanes of Varanasi, said: “We are very happy today as she proved us wrong. Girls are never a burden for the family. She was a good student since her early childhood and we were confident that one day she would excel.”
Jha, who has four daughters and a son, is a Class VI dropout. However, he made sure that all his children get higher education to lead a good life. His two elder daughters are studying BSc, while the third is in Class X. “It’s a proud moment that a highly acclaimed director like Plisson from as far as France has come to shoot in Bihar showcasing the struggle of these boys and girls who come from impoverished families,” said Anand Kumar of Super30. It’s a feeling like your effort has paid off, Anand said, adding that this encourages us further to work with more zeal in future.
The film crew, which came to Patna from Varanasi after having a nine-day shoot, would stay in the city a couple of days more. The film is being produced by Pathé Films and will be released worldwide in September 2015.