Voicing her concern about the growing drug menace in Punjab, acclaimed actress and filmmaker Nandita Das said the situation was alarming for the state having rich cultural history.
She came to the border state with a colourful picture of Punjab in mind, but was disturbed by the drug situation here that has made women suffer the most. Nandita, who was the chief guest at Hashim Shah Mela at Jagdev Kalan village at Ajnala, said the drug abuse in Punjab was a manmade disaster due to which women were becoming victims of domestic violence.
Talking to HT, Nandita said: “Keynote speakers Harshinder Kaur from Patiala and and Bibi Inderjit Kaur from Pingalwara, Amritsar, made me aware of the drug abuse in Punjab. I am deeply hurt and this deep-rooted problem needs to be checked immediately.”
Nandita said she was not here to speak about the problems being faced by women and youth, but to understand and learn more about such issues. “It’s high time that everyone, including filmmakers, sensitise the people and create awareness against drug abuse and other social evils. Cinema can play an important role in eradicating social evils. I don’t feel there is anything wrong if filmmakers focus on real issues and sensitize people to bring in a positive change in society,” said Nandita.
“We need to make Punjab, which has a rich cultural heritage, a drug-free state. We all need put in our efforts to weed out social evils,” she added.
Nandita was welcomed in the city by Amritsar Folklore Research Academy president Ramesh Yadav before she crossed Radcliffe Line to reach Pakistan where she would attend a conference at the Khayaal Festival-2015 in Lahore. Nandita, who will be tracing the life of writer Saadat Hasan Manto in her new directorial venture, said she would shoot some scenes of the movie in Pakistan but that would be in August 2016.