Did you see Chotu today?

Very rarely we come across a film that forces us to question ourselves and the norms of society we live in. So was the case with me when I saw this 1-minute video – ‘chotu’. Chotu is the ubiquitous child working as a runner for the tea-stall and other shops along the side in India. Every society that accepts child labor is killing the future of chotu who could be a doctor, an engineer or a teacher. The film tugs at your heart. Will you give chotu his future?

I think I was moved by the AV because it’s something I come across every day and it’s something I have come to accept. But the AV made me question my acceptance. In a way I was allowing child labor. In a way every one of us is allowing child labor.

Ever since I saw the video, I had been too eager to talk to Suraj Arya, the person behind the concept and the direction, to know more about the concept and how he came about it.

Over to Suraj,

We are all aware that child labor has engulfed the bright future of many children.  I have heard, a thousand times, the name of a child working in a small tea stall or at local dhaba (eatery) or other place and that is “CHOTU”. Same name, different faces. These children sacrifice their childhood in a hope to get their daily bread & butter. And, it has always pained me to see their innocence and helplessness. I always wanted to do something for them and contribute a bit in improving their life. As a part of society, we all wish to give back and iVolunteer gave me a chance to volunteer my skills towards the cause closest to me – end of child labor.
I’m a short film maker/ writer based in Delhi. When I came to know about iVolunteer’s Shoot for a Cause initiative, I thought it was a golden opportunity. It provided me with a platform to make a short film on a social cause and make it reach a wide audience. So, I thought of making a short film on child labor and name it ‘CHOTU’, just like the child. The film portrays the real picture of the concealed pains of innocent children and how we can help him.
We can give Chotu a name;
We can give Chotu an Education;
We can give Chotu a future.

The question is Will we? When?

I hope that this film will create a difference in the society and usher the mankind into a new area. I would continue contributing to our society through iVolunteer and other NGOs.

CHOTU – is an AV shot for increasing awareness towards the issue of child labor. It is part of the SHOOT FOR A CAUSE 2012 initiative, a part of iVolunteer’s Joy of Giving Week celebrations. Volunteers use their skills at movie making and storytelling to further a social cause. Watch more entries for Shoot for a Cause on their You Tube channel.

-Ashima with Suraj Arya

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