THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Keralite filmmaker Priya Thuvassery’s “Survey Number Zero” is about the life of salt workers in Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch. The documentary presents a hitherto unknown life of the people of Rann of Kutch, a place which is otherwise often depicted for the white salt sands and Indian Wild Ass shown in the advertisements of Gujarat Tourism.
The theme unveils through the stories of three women. The film shows the extreme hardship of the people in the region who leave their homes to work in the salt fields for 8 months and undertake the work with borrowed money from moneylenders who exploit their poverty through payment of meager sum for the produce after a hard season.
The workers, called Agariyas, live in harsh climatic conditions facing extreme heat during the summer and severe cold in winter. Being married to an Agariya would mean remaining wedded to life of hardships and struggle and a young girl in the documentary even though undecided on whom to marry has to eventually settle for the hard life with an Agariya.
Director: Priya Thuvassery