Jhalki … Ek Aur Bachpan (… A Different Childhood)

a film by Brahmanand S Siingh 

Today, One in every seven child is a laborer.

Even at a modest estimate, at least 220 million children between ages five and fourteen work worldwide, as some kind of laborer or the other.

Through the prevalent child labor practice, a black money pool of Rs. 1,20,000 – 1,80,000 crores (USD 20-30 billion) is being created annually in India.

As per current media estimates, this constitutes 30-60 percent of the total black money in the country.

Jhalki … Ek Aur Bachpan (… A Different Childhood) is a lyrical story of the search of a 9 year-old girl for her 7 year-old brother against the backdrop of bonded child labor in the carpet weaving factories of India.

Like countless other kids from her village, one fine day, her beloved brother is traded-off in a very unlikely situation for the family. A seven year-old kid who was used to fun and freedom, in spite of the existing poverty, is suddenly thrown into an inhuman world of child labor with no respite from a terminally gloomy, dark and depressing workplace.

Jhalki decides to follow her instincts and not take the trade-off lying down. In the process, she ends up running into obstacles of the system that only aids child labor — bureaucracy, corruption, exploitation and so on.

Armed with a folk story of a tireless sparrow that gets her lost grain of food back for her children, a never-say-die attitude and an uncanny presence of mind, Jhalki eventually becomes instrumental for a snowballing movement that frees Babu, her brother, along with thousands of other children caught in the vicious trap.

Jhalki … It’s strong roots and shoots

Kailash Satyarthi, India’s lodestar for the abolition of child labor and a Nobel Prize laureate founded the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement) and has acted to protect the rights of more than 85,000 children from 144 countries.

Due to his drive and dedication, on the global stage, Satyarthi commands a huge respect on International platforms against child labor and has been the architect of the single largest civil society network for the most exploited children, the “Global March Against Child Labor,” active in more than 140 countries.

  • Kailash Satyarthi and his team are behind the authenticity of the script of Jhalki … A Different Childhood.
  • The film, has hugely benefitted from Kailash Satyarthi’s support and hours of discussions, getting into the roots of the problem as well as share and incorporate countless real conditions and character-based situations that have been faced by thousands of children at the receiving end.
  • The film aims to bring about huge awareness across countries and platforms towards the cause. The avenues to screen this and benefit to the cause seem long term.
  • 10% of the film’s profit will be dedicated for the cause.

First Responses

“ I like the sound of your film … I’d love to see it when you are ready

… regarding International distribution …”

— Jeremy Gawade, Head of TV & Film Department, Lee & Thompson, UK

“ Toronto greatly looks forward for films like these …”

— Cameron Bailey, Festival Director. Toronto International Film Festival, Canada  

“ Sounds promising … from it’s International reach-out standpoint …”

— Laura Wu, Consultant Sales and Acquisitions, Aktis Films, Germany

“ Sounds absolutely brilliant … tremendous potential in the World Cinema space …”

— Phil Parker, Script Consultant, UK

“ It has the potential of becoming an important film because of what it’s trying to state …”

— Ashutosh Gawariker, Filmmaker, India

“ Engaging story … Powerful backdrop … would love to be associated …”

— Juliane Schulze, Film Development Consultant, Peacefulfish, Berlin

“ I think this would be very very popular with the festivals as well as theatrical will be very well received …You have all the right elements in place …”

— Monique Perro, Buffalo Gal Pictures, Canada

“ Very touching and relevant … Eager to see the film once done …”

— Nam Dong Chul, Festival Organizer, Busan International Film Festival, Korea

“ Very powerful film … It must be made with good aesthetics and production values … Big reach …”

— Bianca Taal, Programmer, International Film Festival, Rotterdam