About the film
The film takes us to rural government schools in the predominantly tribal district of Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan. We see children coming from difficult contexts with very limited material resources, absentee fathers and younger siblings to look after. How do teachers respond to this situation? How do they bring children to school and try to create an environment in which they are motivated to learn? Even as the film observes the efforts of teachers, it explores the fragile relationship of children with schools. It seems that everyday the question needs to be asked anew, Are you going to school today?
Trying not to affix blame, but to see things for what they are with the aim of finding answers– that was the thought behind this film. Schools, children, education… these are themes I have been working with over the past 10 years in my film and non-film work, always asking, what is the minimum that we can offer every child in this institution called ‘school’? There may be many innovations in alternate education done in elite schools or as experiments in a few select government schools, but what can be done by an ordinary teacher in any school? The film explores this question through two government schools in Dungarpur in Southern Rajasthan. With two teachers as the focal points, it expands into the world of the children and their homes. For a child living in a village, what could school mean? Conversely, what does not going to school mean especially for girls? Even when teachers are making genuine efforts to teach, why do some children run away from school? If the schools are good, why do the teachers send their own children to private schools?
Anupama Srinivasan is a freelance filmmaker based in Delhi, India. An alumna of Harvard University and FTII, she has been making documentaries for the past 17 years, often shooting and editing her own work.