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“Only Way Out of Poverty is Education”

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<table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="467"><tbody><tr valign="top"><td colspan="3">"Doordarshan directed The Spiritual Life of Delhi, where he traced the Iskcon movement and other spiritual influences in Delhi."



</td></tr> <tr valign="top"><td colspan="3">Reel effect</td></tr> <tr valign="top"><td colspan="3" height="10">

</td></tr> <tr valign="top"><td colspan="3">Amrita Talwar</td></tr> <tr valign="top"><td colspan="3" height="10">

</td></tr> <tr valign="top"> <td colspan="3"> New Delhi, August 4: After years of slogging it out at a wine shop in Andhra Pradesh, 10-year old Mahesh enrols himself in a community school. Asmina and Darshan decide that the only way to empowerment is to travel a few hundred kilometres from their village in Rajasthan and join a boarding school in Bodh town. Four-year-old Mayuri from Kennedypur in Gujarat has just learnt numbers and now teaches her illiterate mother.

These are snippets from a powerful documentary film, Chalo School, made by Delhi-based documentary filmmaker Umesh Bist. The film does its job: it makes it clear that the “only way out of poverty is education”, as Bist puts it.

It took him eight months to complete this film for the Aga Khan Foundation, New Delhi. He tracked a day in the life of five children from three different states. “It was an experience following these kids,” says Bist. A postgraduate in mass communication from MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia, Bist has produced and directed more than 500 films on social issues for various television channels. He has a variety of takes on real life — films or documentaries on education, child labour, architecture, culture, technology and many more. His passion for trains got him to direct In Search of Steam, a documentary on steam engines for the Indian Railways. What’s next? A film on the Delhi Metro. The film will talk of how the Metro has changed the social life and urban landscape of Delhi. “DMRC has done a superb job and this has to be captured visually,” he says.

Not the kind to shy away from experimenting, Bist has worked on various themes. For Doordarshan, he directed The City of Shajahanabad, a film that showed the neglected ancient havelis of Delhi. For the tourism ministry, he directed The Spiritual Life of Delhi, where he traced the Iskcon movement and other spiritual influences in Delhi. UNESCO selected his film Seva, based on the chikan workers of Lucknow, for screening on International Women’s Day.

He plans to make a sequel to the Chalo School project that will concentrate on community teachers. The focus would be on Batula Appa, a 78-year-old-women who is a Jaipur-based puppeteer. She uses her puppets to teach children.



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