The film, Aarohan – meaning “a new beginning” in Hindi – links climate change to rural issues, including poverty, gender, and food, water and energy security. A docu-drama, the film talks to village leaders and addresses development issues and climate change. Most importantly, it delivers a powerful message of hope by showing that many solutions to climate change are local and low technology.
India is primarily a rural nation and extremely vulnerable to climate change. While the rural poor are the most exposed to climate change, there is little conversation on this subject. Global non-profit The Hunger Project has developed this film in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund to expand the dialogue and support education on climate change in the Indian rural sector. The film premiered on The Hunger Project’s leadership training agenda in July 2009.
Kajri is a young Dalit (low caste) Sarpanch of Manihari Gram Panchayat. Dedicated and committed to her new position as a leader of her local self government (Gram Panchayat), she struggles to deal with issues of hunger, poverty and famine in her Panchayat. Things come to head when Darshan, a young unemployed Dalit male is forced to steal from the landlord’s mansion in order to feed his children. Kajri looks deep into the reasons for chronic hunger in her village and links it to the changing climatic conditions and environmental degradation. As the Sarpanch, she feels duty bound to find a solution to these problems. Help comes to Kajri from unexpected quarters.