While it’s common to be blinded by a daily routine, it all comes down to paying heed to that instinctive trigger —to make a difference. Vouching by the same is Shajan Samuel, a Bengaluru-based management professional and short film maker, who’s making waves in town — and with good reasons.
The award-winning short film maker’s first social campaign, Help Shajan to Support Women Acid Survivors, rang in an impressive Rs 75,000 within a span of two days through Milap, a popular crowd funding platform.
Stoked about how well the month-long campaign is panning out, Samuel shares the inside track with us...“In 2012, a bunch of entrepreneurs and I decided to offer free one-day training session to about 300 traffic cops in the city. The idea was to render services to a segment that are on duty all day long, yet are taken for granted. There were training, meditation and skills honing activities. The impact and the heart-warming stories I heard from them pushed me to create my first short film, The Resilient Bangalore Traffic documentary film, the very next year in 2013,” enthuses Samuel, who went on to moonlight as a short film maker ever since.
His subsequent short films, Sukurupa and ABC went on to receive national acclaim – ABC won the Best Film at Pune Independent Film Festival, Indore Social Responsibility Awards, Meliorist Film and Flying Elephant Film Festival Trivandrum.
So, what compelled this techie to give weekend plans a short shrift? To which he says, “I was aware of Shoeroes Hangout, this cafe in Agra, which was completely run by acid attack survivors. I visited the cafe to get a first hand experience an insight. The real picture left me appalled — these acid attack survivors didn’t have an ounce of disappointment. They were happy and full of joy. It was the positivity, which they emanated that struck me hard to do something to egg them on to be the super women they are. And that’s how it all rolled out,” he adds.
While the month-long crowd funding project’s responses have left Samuel elated beyond words. “I’m supremely happy at how the word spread so effectively. While we’re heading steady towards a lakh, I’m sure we will cross more in the coming days.” All proceeds will be directed towards the Chhanv Foundations, which runs Sheroes Cafe.”