The release of Allah Ke Banday, a film about a delinquent duo who come out of a juvenile prison and take to organised crime, may have been pushed forward to November 12, but its producer, Ravi Walia, and director, Faruk Kabir, are not letting up on their rehabilitation efforts for the children of a lesser God.
They’ve taken the first step forward by setting up the AKB Foundation that is sponsoring the education of two boys from financially weak backgrounds, Ashfaq from Uttar Pradesh and Steven from New Zealand.
“It doesn’t take much to sponsor a child’s education in India, it’s an expenditure of about Rs 12,000 and plenty of feel-good moments. Hopefully, the numbers will increase in the coming years,” says Kabir, admitting that they are small fish in an ocean where there’s so much to get done, nowhere in the league of Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey. “But this small endeavour could lead to bigger collaboration with a educational institution or publishing house if the movie becomes a voice of change.”
Kabir who has shot in a real prison and is appalled by all that he has seen, emphaises the need for a 360-degree programme for young offenders. The programme should take into account their socio-economic backgrounds and the desperation that lead them to commit murders at the age of 10 and 12.
“They need one-on-one interactions with psychologists and child counsellors who will help them vent out their negativity and keep them engaged in creative pursuits through the year,” he reasons.
“They need to be exposed to the beauty of life. We need IAS officers and computer engineers to come out of these places and not hardened criminals.”