CHENNAI: The camera takes the viewer through the streets of Sharada Bagh Industrial Area, New Delhi, the pace of the characters on the screen is depicted through the jerky and unfocused angle, and the men on the screen seem nervous and rushed. Led by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, they break into a factory and free a handful of boys working there. This was the rousing start to the documentary ‘The Price of Free’ which was screened at Crowne Plaza on Monday.
The 92-minute documentary deals with Satyarthi’s search for a boy called Sonu, who was trafficked to Delhi to work. It was screened in the presence of actor Kamal Hassan and Dr Regeena J Murli, managing director, Jeppiaar Engineering College. Satyarthi, in the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary, explained that there is a vicious circle between child labour, illiteracy and poverty. He has been working towards children’s rights since he established his organisation Bachpan Bachao Andolan in 1980. “When I started, no one was talking about this.
Even the UNCRC was established only in 1990. I refused to accept that any child is forced to work at the cost of their freedom and education. No sin can be bigger than denying a child their childhood,” he said in his speech. Praising his work and urging the gathering to follow his footsteps, Hassan said, “Great deeds are such that it makes you feel guilty — if he can do it, so can I, and why did I not think to do it before. It is what drives us to a better society.”
Saying that she was incredibly inspired by Satyarthi’s work, Dr Murli said, “We have to save the environment around us, and take correct steps to do the right thing. We will be launching a community service centre for children in schools, colleges and apartments. The centres will operate 24/7 and seminars will be held there by psychologists, lawyers and doctors on children’s health and well-being.”