The subject of social issues has always been a big part of story telling in the Indian film industry. The most recent subject is proper hygiene facilities giving to women. With Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Padnekar gearing up for their forthcoming ‘Toilet – Ek Prem Katha’, filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra also has his next project titled of a similar nature.
Titled ‘Mere Pyare Prime Minister’, Mid-Day reports Mehra revealing, “My film is set in a slum, where the issue is more acute. Besides being a hygiene issue, living in those conditions is unsafe. It is a mother-son story which kicks off with a young boy’s letter to the PM requesting that a toilet be made for his mother.”
Talking about the comparison with Kumar’s film, the film maker explained, “This is nothing like Akshay’s film, which is a love story at heart. And even if it is, there is never enough said about subjects like this.”
Like many, Mehra also feels strongly about the subject of women not been treated well due to not having access to the right products for their own hygiene, as he went on to express, “Women’s safety is a prime concern. Rapes are a given when women go out to defecate, as per UNICEF figures. The problem of sanitation in urban areas is bigger than it is in rural areas. Rural India has culturally adapted to defecation outside. In the khet, recycling is easier.”
Being a part of the NGO Yuva Foundation, an organisation which stands for holistic development in education, livelihood and governance, Merhra expressed what the along with the group are actively doing. “We realised that girls stop coming to school after puberty. Along with Yuva, we decided a change is needed. When we revamped the first municipal school, it took us R5 lakh,” he explained.
Mehra went on to add, “The girls started coming back. We got donation for 20 more schools. Now, we have 1,20,00 volunteers. By 2020, we plan to install 5000 toilets. Ian Botham has come on board as a patron and helped us build toilets in Worli Village. All my movies have been an extension of a piece of my mind, and this one is the same.”
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