A film on Migrants of India(their life around Covid) | Milaap
A film on Migrants of India(their life around Covid)
of Rs.200,000
5 supporters
  • VB

    Created by

    Vishal Bhutani
  • V

    This fundraiser will benefit


    from New Delhi, Delhi


I come from a lower-middle family, where education itself was a luxury. I don't know how I did three degrees, co-founded a company and got my photography to a level. It seemed like a never imagined dream. But now I have bigger dreams. I want to make my first film. But I believe art/films must have a social impact. Therefore, I am here to ask for some generous donations from all of you.
My profile -

I am LL.M. Graduate from Azim Premji University; before it, I did LL.B. and B.Tech. I am Yes Foundation Fellow of 2017. During the same time, I co-founded Idiog.com and Station (https://youtu.be/B8hnYVdsCfU), a talk series. Film details are as follows.

It is a social cause film to tell the tale of migrants during the Covid Lockdown. I will shoot this film in a rural setting, a basti/settlement of migrants from Chattishargh, Jharkhand etc. I will be staying with them for a month with my team.

Equipment- Sound 50k (equipment support will also work.)
Camera - I have the camera and I will borrow it from friends.
Lightning - 20k
Crew - 20k
Travel -40k
Editing and colour grading - 50k
Miscellaneous/buffer - 20k

 I also got this Project selected at Sciences Po, France.

Background -
Karl Marx has said that 'History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.'
In March 2020 when the Indian government announced one of the world's strictest
lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus, the phenomenon that unfolded in the lives
of more than 450 million migrant workers (92% of the workforce of the country) is hard to be
put under a tragedy or a farce. It was an unbelievable horror of magnanimous degree. The
migrant workers who till yesterday were the cities' backbone suddenly became as unwanted
as coronavirus itself. The babus (the government's executive branch) missed out on this vast
migrant worker population in their coronavirus policy briefings. Our cities or urban centres
that thrive on these cheap labour's blood and sweat had forgotten about them and wanted
them to disappear somewhere.
As most of the middle-class away from their home-towns and families struggled to make
sense of the every day newer restrictions and the new reality of living with it, these migrant
workers were walking thousands of kilometres on foot back to their villages. It was a do or
die situation for them. They feared starvation more than coronavirus! They had with them
their families and whatever little belongings. They were hungry and thirsty and desperate to
reach back home. Nothing much waited for them in their native villages too( for had it been
the case they would have never migrated to these cruel cities), but at least they wouldn't
have to buy water in their village or pay rent.
They were so tired by this tedious journey on foot that so many succumbed on their way home. Many met with road accidents; the most horrifying incident was when 16 migrant
workers were run over by a train, as they were resting on the tracks. Much to the terror and
shock, there were instances reported where these migrant workers were sprayed with
insecticides on their entry to a new province. There were pregnant migrant workers giving
birth on the roads' sides and then after resting a bit, enduring the journey again. Instead of
the police machinery advised to treat these workers humanly, they were given an upper hand
to manage lockdowns. Thus police committed several atrocities on the poorest of the poor.
The Chief Justice of India is on record to ask a renowned human rights lawyer who brought
a petition regarding giving of wages to unemployed migrant workers: "if the migrant
workers were provided meals, then why did they need money for meals". This sums up the
the response of the Indian State who left these migrant workers much to the charity and good
the conscience of the citizenry or civil society and abdicated from their duty.

But even after almost a year of that "long road" to home, there are still pertinent questions to
be asked and revisited: How can a State be so callous towards its citizens during a
pandemic? How can the other pillars of democracy, especially the judiciary, look in vain and do
nothing to protect the most fundamental of the rights of the people.

Description of audio-visual content
The impact of Covid-19 is multifaceted. It created a crisis never seen or imagined before. It
has created a dilemma around the human civilisation and the laws that dealt with it, which
still needs an answer. The Covid-19's impact is not on one front. It ranges from food, health,
economic sustainability, to loss of lives. As a human race, we must document this crisis
quantitatively as well as qualitatively. We must show the distress and the impact Covid-19
has on a person and how he overcame it. One must record and present it to a larger
The statisticians are handling the quantitative part, which is just figures. A documentary
filmmaker needs to do the qualitative aspect. As Gandhi described, one must go out to
villages to experience the real India. The documentary filmmaker needs to do the same. One
must go and record the impact of the Covid-19 on migrant workers. One must show the
fragility of humans and their surroundings. The film will contain narratives of one or a few migrant families.

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