New York Dec.20, 2005
NRI, a United States based filmmaker, Neeraj Kumar's
documentary film "Child Marriage" has received
the Best International award at the New York International
Film and Video Festival (NYIFVF), 2005.
This documentary film is 82 minute long, about a
little bride getting engaged before she was even born.
It also include issues like women's rights, animal
rights, discrimination against untouchables, artistic
folk music and dances from the remote western parts
of India. UNICEF(United Nations International Children
Emergency Fund) has labeled this as an human rights
issue.. The consequences of child marriage are irreversible.
A child who is a victim of bonded labors/child slavery
can be rescued. A child suffering from sexual abuse
can be helped by psychological therapy. An illiterate
child can get free education. A physically handicapped
child can be helped to the extent of his/her handicap.
But, a married child has no options. The child's fate
is sealed forever. There is no escape. The movie had
to be filmed in a Guerilla-style due to the fact that
the practice of child marriage is banned by the Government
of India. After living for years in the United States,
the Indian summer heat and dust was gruelling for
Neeraj. He traveled across the Rajasthan and Haryana
on a motorcycle for this film.
Neeraj says that he had a great time making the film
and hopes that his message will reach far and wide.
He intends to show this film at an international level.
On Dec. 5, 10, 11, this documentary film has already
been shown at the Nolita film festival and South Asian
international film festival in New York .