Reel stint for special learners - Film-maker duo pick 15 from Ranchi for video training

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  • Published 24.03.12

Struck down by the cruel hand of fate, a group of physically and mentally challenged youths from Ranchi will soon be able to carve a niche for themselves, courtesy the efforts of two city-based film-makers — Meghnath and Biju Toppo.

Deepshikha — a Namkum-based school for the mentally challenged — approached the duo four months ago to come and explore the possibilities of training disabled students.

Though initially sceptical about their disabilities, the ace documentary film-makers decided to give the idea a shot, selecting a bunch of 15 special students for a training programme. Besides eight students from Deepshikha, six physically challenged students from Prakash Kunj, a school for the deaf and dumb located at Hatia, were selected. The last spot for the training was awarded to a physically challenged girl, also from Hatia.

The film-makers, who have started a 30-day training stint, are pleased with the progress the students have made in their initial lessons of still photography and videography.

“So far, we have trained them only in diya making, painting, card and file making. However, we wanted them to explore new horizons for earning a livelihood. So, we mooted the idea of film-making and basic videography and photography,” said Alka Nizame, chief of Deepshikha.

Speaking to The Telegraph on Wednesday, Meghnath said that it took him and Biju nearly four months to accept the challenge. “But after a week of training, we are confident that the students are gifted and can be taught the use of new technology,” he added.

He added that the group had so far been trained how to download photographs from their cameras to the computer and save them in a folder.

“Our next step will be to teach them video making and editing. Though we might face some problems during sound editing, we have decided to go ahead with it,” Biju said.

If the teachers were pleased with the progress, the students appeared thrilled at getting to learn something new.

“My parents often told me that I will not get married if I did not start earning for myself. This training has given me hope. After the training, I will be able to, if not anything, cover and videograph functions like marriages and make some money,” said 18-year-old Rameshwar Oraon, a deaf and mute boy from Hatia.

Shalu Khatun, a member of the Hatia-based Jharkhand Viklang Manch, who has also been chosen for training, said, “The society needs to change its attitude towards us. After the training is over, people should come forward and offer us opportunities for eking out a livelihood.”