Mumbai: Bollywood star Katrina Kaif was spotted at an event hosted by Picture Pathshala, an organisation that produces content made by children and supports children’s cinema for change.
“I think it’s really very special to be able to do something like this in a fun way, and in a way where you are allowing kids to interact and participate, and listen to what they want to talk about,” said Katrina. She also expressed curiosity over how Picture Pathshala was started and what inspired the founders.
Co-founded by Shweta Parekh and Ayaan Agnihotri, Picture Pathshala has produced 200 short films in the last five years, which have been screened across 47 International film festivals. Scenes from some of the short films were screened at the event.
The organisers of the event also used the occasion to thank Salman Khan’s Being Human Foundation and Book A Smile for supporting them over the years. Present at the event were also Salman’s sister Alvira and her husband Atul Agnihotri, Salman’s brothers Sohail and Arbaaz Khan, and Sunil Grover.
Addressing the kids after a screening at the event, actor-comedian Sunil Grover said: “I loved the videos. You guys speak in such a mature way and give such nice expressions! You are lucky to get a chance to work like this at this age. All of you are very talented. I wish you all the best. Work hard and shine brighter.”
Picture Pathshala’s initiative ‘Cinema School In A Sandook’ has reached out to Cherivali village in Raigadh, Pinguli Village in Sindhudurg, Raisar village in Bikaner, Dandi Village in Navsari, and the last village of India Turtuk in Ladakh. They are now planning to arrange similar workshops in Jaisalmer, Assam, West Bengal and Kanyakumari.
Talking about the initiative, co-founder Ayaan Agnihotri said: “We had been on a road trip around India and got a chance to meet and interact with children of remote areas. We wanted to know what these children feel, what their problems are, what they have to say. These are places where you don’t even find an original mineral water bottle. We feel kids from such places should be allowed to express themselves so that they feel they have the power to make a difference.”
Co-founder Shweta Parekh expressed: “All schools have a curriculum for media studies and community service. What we do is we combine these two and make it fun for the children. At the same time, they spend either time doing something which they don’t see just as a subject but something by which they will be touching lives, something which they take back with them. That’s the whole idea of Picture Pathshala.”
“We support children’s cinema for change. We would request everyone to come forward and support us in this cause. We want to reach out to 717 districts across the country,” she added.