GUWAHATI: The opening film of Guwahati International Documentary – Short - Animation Film Festival (GIDSAFF) was a documentary Selling Children by Bollywood director Pankaj Johar. The film is an extension of Johar’s previous film Cecilia which explores the concept of child exploitation as an individual focus. Selling Children on the other hand, explores the concept in a broader scope.
Speaking exclusively to The Sentinel, Johar said, “Child trafficking happens all over India but the border areas are the most hard hit. Many Assam girls are sold off as child brides.”
Stating that poverty and lack of education are the root cause of child exploitation, Johar commented that around 50 to 60 percent of trafficking is from Assam and Bengal. “Goons take advantage of the gullible nature of parents and exploit their children who are given only the basic they need to survive another day. Even girls from well-to-do families are duped on the pretext of love and then sold off as sex workers. Lakhimpur and Kokrajhar have been reported to rank the highest in terms of trafficking”, Johar said.
Speaking about GIDSAFF, Johar gushed about how overwhelmed he was at the organization and hospitality of the festival, “This is the first time the film has been played in a bigger screen in India.” Also praising the delicacies in Assam and authentic Assamese food, Johar concluded by saying that his next project will be a documentary Kabir that a twelve-year-old child at the backdrop of politics and election and how his life changes due to it.
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