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Overcoming challenges Chandra mudoi’s new film ‘makonor school’

Director Chandra Mudoi, always a capable man behind the megaphone, has just completed the post-production works of his new Assamese film ‘Makonor School’ (Life too is a School). The movie marks a new journey for the filmmaker who has a reputation of incorporating the more commercially appealing elements into his films. Before this, he has to his credit 13 movies, which have tasted a good deal of success.
Presently, digital filmmaking is garnering a lot of momentum, and has become the hot medium for filmmakers to realise their dreams. The movie market too has evolved a great deal. It’s quite tough for filmmakers to secure distribution for their films, nowadays. As Rima Das’s ‘Village Rockstars’ has shown, publicity is absolutely key to generating audience’s interests in a film and getting successful launches at festivals. Seizing the attention of audiences and holding their interest is a greater challenge than ever for today's filmmakers. Times have changed. The stories produced in the 80s and 90s look so much quainter today. Films with stories closely connected with the local milieu have always fascinated audiences all over the world. On the one hand, we have got filmmakers - the more experienced lot, who are more susceptible to the tried and tested formulae, and, on the other hand, we have a handful of filmmakers - the younger lot, who are more than willing to experiment with form, content and style to create realistic movies.

For his new film, Chandra Mudoi diverges from his commercial film style  to focus on a pressing issue which has been plaguing the city of Guwahati for years on end now. The unprecedented artificial floods in the city and a rickshaw puller’s daily survival to support his family, is thoughtfully rendered by the director in this film, which uses authentic locations and human experiences. ‘Makonor School’, based on his own story and script, is produced by Sunil Dutta and Barnali Dutta under the banner of Bornali Creative Vision Entertainment.

The charm of ‘Makonor School’ lies in its projection of ordinary people, belonging to the most marginalised sections of the society, coping with numerous challenges, and whose daily survival preoccupied their lives

The film revolves around the close-knit family of Jadhav, a rickshaw puller, his wife Makon and their two little kids. Makon didn’t study that much, but she learnt on her own the very lessons that life has taught her. It has inspired her in overcoming hardships and to be able to bear all the pains. As such, she has learned that life itself provides answers and is a school in itself.

Jadhav makes just enough to support his family by pulling the rickshaw. Makon runs a small shop along the footpath. Besides assuming responsibility for their household, they send their children to a government-run school. They aspire greater things for their children. Makon was forced to abandon her studies due to poverty, but she wishes to see her children well-educated, thereby fulfill her own unrealised wishes.

During the monsoon season, a single heavy spell of rain leaves streets in Guwahati waterlogged. Soon enough, traffic comes to a standstill, and people have to remain confined to their homes. The rickshaws, then, are the only means of transport available for the people. As their demand increases, people like Jadhav end up making the most of it, as they can charge commuters any fare they want. So he doesn’t mind if there is heavy rain.

However, their dreams, goals and aspirations were shattered to pieces on a fateful day, leaving an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair and depression to Makon’s family that has fought their way out of poverty and various obstacles.

Chandra Mudoi has finally found a subject that addresses a contemporary social issue, while making an earnest attempt to deal with the problems of a community, struggling with poverty, social inequality and marginalisation, which is likely to resonate with the discerning viewers. The leading artistes Rajib Kro, Pranami Bora, child artistes Rodali Bora and Nayan Das have to endure searing heat and monsoon downpours, which really left them physically drained during the film’s shoot. Rajib Kro learnt the art of pulling a rickshaw by paddling for miles before the production began. The film’s background music is scored by Palash Gogoi. The film’s sound designing and re-recording has been done by Hengul Medhi. The film’s chief assistant director and costume designer is Rosy Bora. Cinematographed by Naba Kumar Das, edited by Rajib Saikia, the film’s DI Colorist is Ashim Sarma and VFX is by Abhijit Handique. Given the film’s theme, ‘Makonor School’s main audience might well be found on the festival circuit, where it is expected to do well.

 

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Naga villages pledge to save Amur Falcons

28 Aug 2013 - 5:05pm | Subhamoy Bhattacharjee

Marking a significant milestone for conservation of Amur falcons in the northeast Indian state of Nagaland, three villages in Wokha district have pledged to save the migratory raptor in Doyang Reservoir - its largest roosting site in the country. With mass annual hunt potentially threatening the species, a resolution has been cleared by the villages to penalise offenders, this year onwards.

Village Council Members (VCM) of Pangti, Asshaa and Sungro signed a tri-party Memorandum of Understanding with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) and the Wokha-based NGO Natural Nagas, to assist the Nagaland Forest Department to stop the wide-scale hunt which was brought to light last year.

Tens of thousands of these raptors were reportedly hunted annually for their meat in the district, as they crossed the region en route to Africa from Siberia. Hunters turned their fishing nets upwards near the reservoir to trap the birds when they come to roost during late evenings or while leaving early in the morning.

 

“Following a report on the hunting of Amur Falcons by Conservation India, a Rapid Action Project (RAP) was initiated by WTI and Natural Nagas to spread awareness on the plight of the species among the local communities,” said Steve Odyuo, Natural Nagas.


The RAP, supported by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), approached the village councils for their help in preventing the hunt. A number of awareness meets and discussions held over the past few months, eventually culminated in signing of the MoU this week, encompassing a wide range of issues focusing on Amur falcon conservation.


The three parties will now be working together to spread the awareness among the public through various channels. The team will also work to reduce jhumming (slash-and-burn cultivation) to protect the roosting habitat of the species.

As agreed in the MoU, a resolution was passed by the village committees to fine hunters up to five thousand rupees. Protection groups engaging local youth from the three villages will be created to keep watch and ensure enforcement of the resolution to protect the birds this season.

Sancsuo Shiciri, VCM – Asshaa, said, “This is a new thing for the people here. The way WTI and Natural Nagas have come forward for the constructive approach for the conservation of Amur falcons, I think will bring a positive change in the future. We will give full support in every activity for the conservation of Amur falcons.”

Concurring with him and thanking the RAP team for motivating and helping bring about change from the grassroots, Ronchamo Shiciri, VCM – Pangti, added, “We give full support for conservation of Amur falcons and as well as to other species of wildlife.”

Ezanbemo Ngullie, Secretary, Village Development Board – Sungro, said, “The initiatives of WTI and Natural Nagas, has helped people know the importance of Amur falcons. We are always with them and will support to stop the killing and hunting of Amur falcons in the coming season.”

“Conservation will only be successful if it happens from within, and in this case we are extremely grateful to the village councils for taking the cause forward,” said Sunil Kyarong, Regional Head – WTI. “The best thing about the RAP was that the village councils sincerely acknowledged the problem and themselves came forward with potential solutions.”

“We have already begun implementing some solutions. For example, the hunt was predominantly carried out for meat, and so we have helped over 30 families that were involved in hunting the falcons set up poultry farms and trained them for the proper care ,” added Odyuo. The initiative has been welcomed and being enthusiastically sustained by the local people. The poultry farms are being regularly monitored by Natural Nagas and WTI is placing a full time sociologist to work with the communities on a long-term basis.

Working with the local communities and governments, WTI has implemented numerous successful RAPs across the country. Among the notable ones in northeast India was the facilitation of use artificial hornbill beaks in traditional head gear of the Nyishi tribe in Arunachal Pradesh.

Incessant rain paralyzes Tangla

23 Jun 2016 - 10:19pm | Shajid Khan

Incessant rainfall since early morning on Thursday has totally paralyzed the normal functioning of life in the Tangla town. A shower has made water logging in various localities of Ward No.3 and 4. Specially the localities of Ward No.4 are in knee-deep water,resulting commuters life difficult. The school and college going students were spotted battling with the logged water and downpour.  The road connecting Tangla Forest Beat Office to MB Road has been engulfed by knee-deep water. Interestingly though local residents have sought the help of TTC authorities yet it has been accused that they have turned a blind eyes to it. In some lanes TTC authorities had just layed think layers of pebbles and sand.

The school and college students along with daily commuters are the worst sufferer.

In Ward No.3 the localities namely Babupara,Subaspalli,Palpara are in pathetic condition the sticky mud and logging water has made people's life hell bounding them to choose alternative routes. The construction of Hospital Road to inter-locking brick road the foundation stone for which was laid by EM Jagadish Sarkar month's back has yet not started. As per sources every ward of the town are liable to get twenty trailers of pebbles but contrary to it hardly three-four trailers of pebbles were distributed in lanes of each wards.
The irated local residents who are liable to pay town committee taxes to TTC have expressed grave concern over the road conditions.

 

Bineswar Brahma recalled on his dead anniversary

20 Aug 2016 - 9:05am | AT Kokrajhar Bureau

Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS) and Bodo community recalled contributions of Subungthini Thandwi Bineswar Brahma, former president of Bodo Sahitya Sabha on his 16th death anniversary at his burial place at Chandamari in Kokrajhar on Friday.

The anniversary was organized under the aegis of Bodo Sahitya Sabha(BSS), in association with Bineswar Brahma Charitable Trust to mark the occasion.

Dr Kameswar Brahma,president of the sabha hoisted the organizational flag in the morning followed by paying homage to the tomb of Bineswar Brahma, was paid floral tribute by Pushpa Rani Brahma,widow.

Brahma was shot dead on August 19(2000) at his Bhetapara Guwahati residence by armed militants when he president of the Bodo sahitya sabha .

BTC Deputy Chief Kampa Borgoyary graced the occasion as chief guest on the occasion.He also unfurled a mouth piece,in connection with observation.

Borgoyary said Bodo community should unite and build a healthy society so that community can gain healthy development. He recalled contributions of late Brahma, who dedicated his life for the welfare of Bodo literary, language and culture.

Speaking on the occasion, BSS president Dr Kameswar Brahma said late Bineswar Brahma was an extraordinary leader of the sabha as well of Bodo community.Despite, a high official responsibility in FCI,Brahma dedicated his life for Bodos’ development and language uplift.

BTC executive members Daneswar Goyary , Rajib Brahma, former MP Urkhao Gwra Brahma,ABSU general secretary Lawrence Islary, many writers were among those who participated in the programme.