'I am Kalam' makes strong plea for children's right to education

PANAJI: “Every child has a right to get educated no matter what your circumstances”, and this is even more imperative after passing of the Right to Education Act by the Government, renowned character actor Gulshan Grover said here today.

The actor said the film ‘I Am Kalam’ by Nila Madhab Panda, which is part of the Indian Panorama, was aimed at encouraging children and parents to realise the importance of education and literacy.

Panda said 60 million children are still not going to school despite education being a right in the country.

He and Sanjay Chauhan said the aim of the film was to show that a determined child could achieve what he wanted, if the step was in the right direction.
The movie marks the debut of Delhi-based 12-year-old child Harsh Mayar in the lead role. The young child also showed his prowess in singing by rendering a popular Hindi film song.

French theatre actress Beatrice Ordeix who has played a role in the film, said she had learnt some Hindi for the film.

Child actor Hussan Saad has also played a pivotal role in the film funded by the Smile Foundation, whose representatives were also present.

It is the story of young Chhotu who starts his life as a skivvy in a roadside food joint and chances to strike a chord with Prince Ranvijay of the royal mansion who is of the same age. Chhotu does not have an answer when people ask him his real name and it is this question which changes his life. “I am Kalam”, Chhotu finds himself saying. He had seen on television that former President APJ Abdul Kalam was a poor kid like him, selling newspapers. Chhotu is a dreamer and Prince Ranvijay will do anything to make his dreams come true.

The film is the first ever feature film produced by Smile Foundation, a development organisation addressing the issue of children’s education in India. The film made its world debut at the Marche du Cannes (Cannes film Festival Market section, 2010).

The film is the feature debut of International Award winning director Nila Madhab Panda, who has produced and directed over 60 documentaries, short films, television drama and films for international and the national broadcaster.

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