This boy’s ‘ant-ics’ have many lessons for all

  • Rajeev Mullick, Hindustan Times, Lucknow
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2016 13:19 IST
Lucknow lad Aditya receiving a cheque at the National Science Film Festival and Competition, 2016 in Mumbai. (HT photo)

Have you ever seen a group of ants carrying a dead ant and dumping it away from their colony? You may have. But, did you ever imagine there could be a documentary film on this aspect of ants?

A Lucknow boy, Aditya, not only imagined but made it happen. Not just that, the documentary was selected for the 6th National Science Film Festival and Competition, 2016 in Mumbai and won the first prize that carried a cash prize of Rs 50,000.

The documentary ‘ Ants: A Tiny Creature’ immensely impressed the jury which included noted filmmaker Shyam Benegal.

With the award, the student of Manipal Public School, Lucknow has not only brought laurels to his school but also the entire city. “I was attracted towards the ants when I found a few of them carrying the body of their mates. My curiosity to know more about them resulted in the short documentary,” said a jubilant Aditya on his return to the city from Mumbai.

According to research, this practice is a part of the daily housekeeping exercise of ants. With the film, Aditya wants people to learn not to avoid the most common insect seen every day. “These tiny creatures are the most important parts of our existence. And most of us may not know that after human beings, ants are the only living beings that socialise. If they can keep their surroundings clean then why can’t we?,” he said.

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Organised by Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous institution under department of science and technology, Government of India, the documentary is of just 4 minutes and 14 seconds duration which also attempts to spread the message that garbage dumping areas should be far away from cities and colonies to prevent any kind of infection, contagious diseases and epidemics.

Produced, directed and shot by Aditya with an SLR camera, the documentary won a Golden Beaver Award at the pan India competition in Mumbai. “The documentary reveals exciting secrets of the life of ants, which are examples for human beings to follow. With its focus and clarity, the film is an engaging document,” members of the jury noted.

“It is an attempt to explain how ants live and share with the common people insights of their life,” said Aditya’s school principal, Anupama Shukla. The narrator of the documentary was Aditya’s friend Tanmeet Singh.

When asked what he would do with the prize money, Aditya said, “I am saving the prize money which I will use for future assignments and make other documentary films.”

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