By Avajit Nepram
Social Activist and Film Maker from Manipur State chosen for a national film festival “National Documentary and Short films on Gender “ organized by International Centre of Excellence in Youth Development and School of Gender Studies, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur under the Ministry of Youth Affairs , Govt of India .
A documentary film, “The Story of Manipur Women Gun Survivors” produced by Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network and IANSA (International Action Network Against Small Arms )London and directed by Avijit Nepram and warm support from the team members of the network on conflict and women issues which germinated from the impact of gun violence in Manipur was selected for screening in the “National Documentary and short films on gender “ organized by International Centre of Excellence in Youth Development and School of Gender Studies, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur under the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt of India was held from 22 to 24 of December. The foundation, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development has a unique faculty that focuses on Youth Empowerment, Social and Gender issues, Strengthening Volunteerism among providing technical support to youth organization in training and development and fully administered and funded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports , govt of India. The Institute’s motive is tapping the valuable human resources of the youth who constitute 40% of the population and groom them in nation building activities. It was founded in 1993 and has collaborations with Common Wealth Youth Programme, SAARC, UNFPA and other civil societies to highlight contemporary youth related issues and themes.
The film depicts a story on the unfortunate widows and children who are the victims of Gun Violence and their struggle for their survival who are left on their own after the main bread earner of the family are killed. The objective of the film festival was to highlight the issues on Gender through the medium of films which could be a documentary or a short film and imparting of knowledge to the students in particular. The event has imprinted history since it is the first time conducted at the National level on the issue of Gender through the medium of Documentary and Short films. The positive aspects of this event was inculcating in the minds of the budding students of the Institute on how one can promote and address the burning social issues with the help of moving images (doc. and short films). Only 2 films from Tripura and Manipur state were selected from the northeast region and film makers from all over India participated.