Published: 06th August 2020
How Pearl Ganta is using her filmmaking to show us that every child matters
Pearl Ganta is also the president of Rotary Club of Secunderabad Icons and under her leadership, about 300 trees have been planted. They have also adopted two government schools. This is her story
When we say adoption, what's the first image that pops into your mind? A childless couple — for most people, at least. Pearl Ganta wants this notion out of your head. "Why should only childless couples adopt? There are so many children out there who need a loving home and every child needs a family," advocates the filmmaker and adds, "If you can't adopt, sponsor their education, give them food, build a playground in their community — there are so many ways to support them." And by saying this, she highlights what has been her vision since June 2018, the vision she calls 'Apnao'.
At work | (Pic: Pearl Ganta)
Hyderabad-based Pearl Ganta might be in the business of making films but her philanthropic heart ensures that she takes out a major chunk of her time to teach filmmaking in slums and orphanages, and not just in Hyderabad or Chennai but also in educational institutions around the world, including Togo, Uganda, Kenya, Brazil, the US and other countries, and has been doing this since 2008. But you see, the 43-year-old teaches filmmaking as a life skill that might help the underprivileged find a job one day. She has worked on iconic projects including serials like Kids Zindabad on DD Metro in 2002, Adventures in Odyssey in 2010 and so on. She even runs her own media house Ur Vision Communications, so you can be assured that she knows what she's doing. She has conducted 25 such workshops over the years and she intends to conduct many more.
Currently, Ganta has a four-part vulnerable children-related short film series planned, he first of which, titled Apnao #itooneedafamily, is out on YouTube for all to see (and show). "Even the Government of Andhra Pradesh had played it for their social workers. That's why it is an open-source material, we want everyone to use it," says Ganta, who is also the President of Rotary Club of Secunderabad Icons. The 15-odd-minute short film was released seven months ago and has raked in over three lakh views already. It tells the story of an older kid (who aren't usually preferred when it comes to adoption) at an orphanage and what transpires when she interacts with a family. "We need to bring about a change in the way people think about adoption," she avers.
Her other two films in the four-part series are I am a Child Too and Broken but Not Defeated
For her second film, Safety is my Right, the soundtrack is good to go but the pandemic has brought everything to a halt. "I feel that if we have the skill or some influence, we need to use it to build our nation. All of us have the capacity to contribute towards nation-building, we just need to realise it," says Ganta. And what better way to build a nation than to care for the future of its children?
Sparking Apnao conversations:
Ganta began an online chat series about five months ago and it features:
- Children and Online Safety | Cyber security expert Dr Daniel Singh
- Child Sexual Abuse | Activist Mamatha Raghuveer Achanta
- COVID19 and Reintegration of Children in Communities | Ian Forber-Pratt, National Program Director, CERI
For more on her, check out facebook.com/Pearl.G.Ganta