June 2, 2017
Four years of research by Hyderabad IIT student PV Shijith has found form in a documentary. It is a 22-minute real account of girls called `Nakusa’ which means ‘unwanted’ by their parents. Unwanted because of the belief that if they are called `Nakusa’ to get a baby boy.
The documentary exposes the discrimination against and superstition about girls in a Satara village in Maharashtra. Parents call them the `unwanted’ so that the next child can be a baby boy.
Shijith told The Covai Post: “When I learnt about this rechristening campaign in 2011, I decided to make a documentary. While doing my PhD, I started working on the story. I found Marathi to be a barrier. I had to seek the service of a translator and then completed this work.”
“I found the place is and its people economically backward and with little education. As a part of their culture, the people there believed that having a baby boy was a necessity. It reflects the attitude toward girls across the country,” he says.
Shijith from Kozhikode in Kerala is a research scholar in Hyderabad IIT. He has documented over 100 of these `Nakusa’ girls. He started his documentary work four years ago after he found a renaming campaign in Maharashtra when he was working at IABS in 2011. Fortunately, the campaign caught media attention. It was then that he finally came out with his documentary with the first shoot in 2013 and finally it got over in 2016. It is now under editing and will be made public in the presence of social activist Sunitha Krishnan, whose NGO Prajwala is into rescuing and rehabilitating sex-workers.