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Dreadful Fate: Documentary
Makes Case For Clean Water Projects in India
BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
'Dreadful Fate', a documentary movie addressing the issue of fluorosis in Andhra Pradesh (AP), India was screened at the Sai Murali restaurant in Alpharetta on the 12th of September. Sponsored by Telangana Community Inc, Rotary club of Emory Druid hills and Secunderabad, India, the event also raised funds for efforts at providing safe drinking water to the districts affected by water contamination in the area.
Skeletal fluorosis, a condition that Dreadful Fate is based upon, is said to be a health effect of excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones leading to changes in bone structure thereby making them extremely weak and brittle. One of the sources is consumption of fluoride from drinking water. In India, it is believed that fluorosis is caused by fluoride-laden water derived from deep bore wells.
Directed by Dulam Satyanarayana, the documentary is dedicated to six year old Shiva. Subject of a few initial shots, Shiva is said to have lost his battle with fluorosis during production. Apparently the movie was supposed to be centered on him, only he never lived long enough for the cameras to capture him. The film walks us through the streets of Nalgonda district and areas in AP where excess fluoride in ground water has adversely affected many of it's less fortunate inhabitants - Ravanamma, Sayamma, Ramulamma, Chandraiah, to name a few. One of the affected boys' father talks about the politicians who show up for a picture with his fluorosis infected son during election time, never actually receiving any help. A husband helplessly watches his wife being consumed by the condition, and a family pulls together to pitch in as the father lies on the bed, unable to move. Unfortunately most of these stories do not have a happy ending.
In the duration of less than half an hour, Dulam Satyanarayana captivates the viewer with a simple, straightforward narrative supported by pertinent visuals and music. Satyanarayana has won an award at the International Digital Film Festival in 2009 for his film ‘Moushuni'. Interestingly he obtained his crew from the Orkut social networking site and so gathered folks from varied backgrounds. Anusha, the script associate of the film, is a student of Osmania Medical College. Cinematographer Sharath has a degree of BFA from JNTU, and Rupa, Assistant Director holds an MBA degree.
Sudhakar Raju, one of the speakers at the event and resident of a village the movie was shot at, recalled the lifesaving advice from his father, a headmaster at the local school - to eat yogurt and drink milk, which he said probably saved his life. The connection being that the lesser the intake of calcium, the more fluoride absorbed in the body. Most of these people the speaker said do not even have the luxury to afford daily calcium intake. The movie is an honest attempt at bringing forth the issues - physical, social and psychological- associated with Fluorosis.
Ravi Chander, one of the organizers, Attorney Chandler Sharma, Narender Reddy and all the speakers urged the audience to support the cause of clean water projects undertaken by Telangana Community Inc in collaboration with Rotary Club, Secunderabad, Emory Druid hills in installing water treatment plants. Ravi Chander added that Telangana Community Inc had successfully completed nine water treatment projects last year and had identified a few more projects to undertake this summer which required support and involvement from the community. Mrs. Sulochana Reddy handed mementos to Ravi Chander and Vamshi Maredu, who sponsored water projects last year.
The event raised a little over 40,000 dollars including ten thousand dollars in verbal commitments but the sponsors stressed the need for more. Lunch was served. More information regarding clean water projects undertaken by the Telangana community maybe be obtained from the website http://www.telanganacommunity.org/waterprojects/
An apt movie for a noteworthy cause surely stirred emotions in its audience. Here’s wishing the Telangana Community Inc and the Rotary clubs, continued success in all their future projects.