Being able to speak what’s on my mind, is freedom. Being able to do what I want and even fight to obtain what I want, is also freedom. Freedom can mean so many things. But not everyone can enjoys those freedoms.
My first feature-length documentary, Crossing the River of Life, features Lokhi, a domestic worker who doesn’t have a lot of freedom. Though she earns money as a domestic worker, she is at the mercy of her employers. There are no laws in India to protect the vulnerable labour force from being taken advantage of by not being paid proper wages on time, etc. Without the laws, she doesn’t have the freedom to go against her employers even if they are taking advantage of her work.
At home, her husband controls the money she earns. She doesn’t have the freedom to go against his wishes openly, because she is alone. Without a support system, Lokhi has no one to turn to if things went wrong at home.
But with the help of a benefactor, she opened a bank account that her husband doesn’t know about. She uses that bank account to save money for her son.
This act of empowerment, of investing her future safety, is her form of freedom. The first taste of freedom she has had in a long time.
And she only gained that freedom when she had support to help her take action.
Freedom can be defined in different ways. But a person can only gain freedom when they have support from others.
Lokhi’s story is just one of many that has inspired the creation of our upcoming event, ‘Freedom‘. It’s a night of education, entertainment and celebration of the various forms of freedom. For more information about the event- the line-up, venue details, and links to get details