Bollywood filmmaker tackles rural suicide

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Mumbai, June 14 : A new Bollywood film puts the spotlight on the sensitive issue of suicide in rural India, where some 150,000 farmers have taken their own lives in the past decade.

The premiere of Bollywood film 'Summer 2007' was held in Mumbai. The film revolves around the issue of farmer suicides in Maharashtra's Vidharbha region.

The glittering ceremony saw cast and the crew of the film as well as many eminent Bollywood artists like Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi and Kirron Kher thronging the venue.

'Summer 2007' is produced by Atul Pandey and directed by Suhail Tatari.

The makers of "Summer 2007" say they hope to raise awareness of the plight of cultivators in Vidharbha region.

While India is Asia's third-largest economy, it grew nine per cent in 2007-08, an inescapable cycle of debt stalks the farmers of Vidharbha.

In "Summer 2007," five medical students from Mumbai stray into a village, unprepared for the deaths and misery they encounter there.

Gourov Dasgupta has rendered music of the film while trio Ujjaini, Vibha Singh and Gourov Dasgupta, has penned the lyrics.

Speaking to the media during the premier of the movie was the films lead actor Sikander Kher who said, "I play the character of Rahul, who is a medical student and comes from a rich family. He has led a carefree life and does not know much about India, its villages and he is not bothered either as he has led a very pampered life. But once he visits a village his life takes a complete new turn. Basically the film touches the topic of farmers suicide."

The film, which also stars Uvika Chaudhary, spoke at length about the main issue of this film.

"Look, we have made this film for the masses and want them to see the film plus we want that the farmers should also come and watch this film. They (Farmers) should feel that we have picked up an issue from their life, which till now was unexplored topic in Hindi films. We are proud that we are making a film with a strong social message," said Uvika.

The film also explores the possibility of micro credit as a solution and has a character inspired by Mohammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel peace prizewinner and founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh's biggest micro-credit institution.

In the coming months, film maker Tatari hopes to show the film to locals in the Vidharbha region and other areas reporting farmer suicides.

ANI

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