Jaan, Shaan, Imaan – short films created by Aangan’s boys

Part of our activities with the at-risk boys in the Youth Centers is group work around issues like peer pressure, impulse control, dealing with stress at home, education and vocation planning. As part of this process, the film making of Jaan, Shaan, Imaan (Love, Pride, Honor) were initiated. The discussion of cases of boys in Observation Homes got children thinking and scripting around these themes with Aangan team and theatre actor Pramod Pathak.Altogether nineteen high-risk boys from Mumbai’s disadvantaged areas of Govandi, Bhiwandi, Antop Hill and Dongri scripted, acted and recorded these short films depicting the story of how boys end up in Observation Homes.

After shooting and acting was completed, the films were screened to over 100 community teenagers in Aangan’s crowded Youth Centers. With the helping hands of volunteers for post-production and sound the films were reworked into screenable quality. 

Mid-March 2011 we screened the films with good public attention (200 guests, 20 journalist print and tv) at the Mehboob Studios in Mumbai. KiranRao (Director of Dhobi Ghat) opened the event with remarks about the hardly debated subject of vulnerable children getting into conflict with law, followed by comments of screen writers Vijay Krishna Acharya (Writer of Guru, Dhoom), Anurag Kashyap (Writer of Black Friday, Dev D) and VikramadityaMotwane (Writer of Udaan). 

Additionally we had a screening together with the acting boys in the Bombay HUB. During this event the boys spoke in great length how the film making gave them so much confidence that they can make great things and achieve something.

With these events we wanted to spur the discussion about the way society is dealing with young offenders, overlooking the difficult circumstances leading to the crime. The awareness about the saddening stories how young offenders come into conflict with law is very low. Easily forgotten is that these young offenders are children who are often subject to abuse, neglect, violence, exclusion and other difficult circumstances. Although India’s Juvenile Justice Care and Protection Act ensures that children are kept out of the adult criminal justice system in keeping with the laws there is no common stand how young offenders should be treated, what kind of rehabilitative programs are required and what is needed in order to close the revolving door. 

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