Bhukkad encapsulates the spirit of The Open Door Project: Swati Bhattacharya, FCB Ulka

We speak to Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka, who has created the short film, ‘Bhukkad’- The Hungry One, for Millennium Schools' project

e4m by Noel Dsouza
Updated: Apr 16, 2019 8:07 AM

On April 15, Millennium Schools launched The Open Door Project, aimed at inducing private schools to take the lead in creating space for underprivileged children in their schools. The visionary behind the initiative is Shantanu Prakash, Founder of Millennium Schools. They unveiled a short film ‘Bhukkad’- The Hungry One created and written by award-winning Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka.


Talking about the film, Bhattacharya says, “The film Bhukkad encapsulates the spirit of The Open Door Project. Drawing on the story of a young boy hungering for education, we hope that this film inspires many other children to seek education and similarly many other institutions to rise to the challenge and fulfil the dire need for expanding the net to all our children who are missing education.” 


The film ‘Bhukkad’- The Hungry One portrays a glimpse of a young boy. It follows him around as he tries to find ways to satiate his hunger for knowledge. The film exemplifies the need for hunger by portraying how despite his shortcomings, he found a way to learn, fueled solely by his hunger. 


exchange4media spoke to the Swati Bhattacharya, CCO, FCB Ulka on the creative vision behind creating this short film.


Tell us about the insight for the film

The data that really matters for this film is that there are 1.5 billion schools and 69 million students in our country. But about one third of these students do not get proper education. So, around 8 million children are out of school life. The problem is that schools mostly lack infrastructure. Then there is the other reality, which is that there are so many private schools that have a lot of amenities and a great infrastructure. But they are dead pieces of real estate at 2 in the afternoon. The whole concept was to allow these schools to open their doors to the less fortunate children. Then quickly we will be able to educate these children. This is the sole reason this project was born.


Then we decided to launch Bhukkad- The Hungry One and are taking this film to red light areas and urban slums where children will see it and the street child portrayed in the film wanting to get an education. That is where the insight came from.



What is the message that you want the audience to take away from this film?

I want the audience to take away the message that when the student is ready, he or she will find his teacher. I feel that the Open Door Project is a dialogue, a plea to all public and private schools to open their doors to the unfortunate children. These well-to-do schools are already there and these spaces can be used.


What has been the impact of the film?

We are taking the film from one school to another. We are also taking it to NGOs and red light areas. We also take educationist to these red light areas. When we did a screening in GB Road in Delhi, we took teachers and principals to these areas. They said they will take 22 kids on board. 


Will the film be put out on social media platforms to gain more attention?

We haven’t looked at social media to gain leverage for this film. We are hoping that word of mouth does the trick. We want to recruit students and volunteers to spread the word of this initiative. Millennium Schools will be putting it up on its website. Even Scoop Whoop has covered it and the film has got attention through their coverage. This is how we are advertising it by word of mouth and reaching out to the children at the ground level.


What is your take on brands taking Corporate Social Responsibilities seriously?

Yes, I believe brands should take a social stance because millennial opt for brands with a social cause. Young entrepreneurs like Shantanu, who heads the Open Door Project, can make a difference. Entrepreneurs hate waiting for policymakers to do something. That is why I feel that brands should take a social stand. It has only been three-four months since the start of this initiative and we have Salam Balak Trust and Kat Katha, which work with children of sex workers, and many more supporting us.

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