Cinema pushing ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ in big way: Minister

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New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” is moving well on the path of success, said Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, and added that cinema is playing a major role in driving the change.

Expressing his views on the Modi’s call for a clean India in 2014 at the trailer launch of Nila Madhab Panda’s film “Halkaa” here, Puri said: “I felt privileged to have got an opportunity, along with Durga Shankar and other colleagues, to watch ‘Halkaa’ two months ago.

“Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is succeeding and it will succeed because of directors and producers like Nila Madhab and Roshni Nadar, who have captured the essence of the message and put it out through a medium which is very strong.”

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“Halkaa” is a take on a slum child’s heroism, aspirations and dreams. The child protagonist, Pichku, fights for the basic problem that he faces everyday: defecating in the open amongst others. It is his dream to make a toilet of his own where he can enjoy his privacy and do the deed in peace.

It features Ranvir Shorey, Paoli Dam and child actor Tathastu. The film is in sync with Swachh Bharat Mission and supported by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

Puri said the film can contribute to the goal of achieving an open defecation-free India and accelerate the pace of achieving Swachh Bharat mission through its powerful messaging.

Panda hopes the film “in some way helps the country to become 100 per cent open defecation-free”.

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Talking about how he got associated with the project, he said: “We are delighted to be partnering with this film. It is simple stories like this that leave a lasting impact and we believe Pichku’s journey of building his own toilet needs to be seen by everyone out there. He is our hero in the truest sense of the word.”

Earlier this year, the film bagged the Grand Prix for Best Film at the Kinolub Festival for Children and Youth in Poland. It also won the Grand Prix De Montreal at the 21st Montreal International Children’s Film Festival where it had its world premiere in March.

The film is presented by Shiv Nadar Foundation and produced by Roshni Nadar Malhotra in association with Akshay Parija and Panda.

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The film will release on September 7.

–IANS

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