Inter Image Films

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Chamaya Vilakku



MEN DRESS UP AS WOMEN TO PLEASE DEITY

Thousands of men dressed up as women and offered prayers at the Kottankulangara Bhagvati temple in Kerala for the fulfillment of their wishes. In a unique ritual called "Chamaya Vilakku" or the make-up lamp, the 'damsels' come to the temple at night in a long procession with lighted lamps in their hands. The lamp is mounted on a long wooden rod.

There are five lights, which are lighted on the same lamp, and the lamp is lighted from a main lamp in the temple. Legend has it that a group of boys herding cows used to enact as shy girls and offer flowers and coconut dishes to the deity. One of the boys had a divine reception from the Goddess and subsequently constructed a temple without an outer wall and started the ritual of men dressing up as women.

EUNUCHS CONGREGATION



EUNUCHS HOLD ANNUAL CONGREGATION IN JAIPUR

Hundreds of eunuchs congregated in Jaipur city recently for a three-day meet to highlight their problems. The eunuchs, who came from all over the country, danced and sang on the streets of Pink city and took out the procession to pray for the well being of all Indians. In the recent years, eunuchs have been asserting their presence in society with some even bidding for high public offices. Battling boycott, the eunuchs have also grouped to form welfare associations and have repeatedly demanded right to employment, marriage and also child adoption amongst other things.

Nazish Asghar



SOUTH ASIA WOMEN CONFRONT TREND OF VIOLENCE

Shameful stories in recent days of horrific rapes in Pakistan and India, murders in Afghanistan and an impoverished Bangladeshi mother offering to sell an eye have all underscored how far South Asia has to go to give downtrodden womenfolk justice. Delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were meeting in Islamabad this week for a biennial ministerial conference to review how efforts over the past decade to promote the women's agenda was faring in this region.

These women also feel that men use religion to beat and abuse women. A U.N. Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) prepared for the Islamabad meeting noted violence against women in South Asia was on the rise, based on cases reported to the police. For the past week Pakistani newspapers have highlighted the case of 17-year-old Nazish Asghar, who threatened self-immolation unless the government ensured there would be no protection for men, including police officers, she has accused of rape. While Pakistan recently introduced legislation to outlaw honour killings, it has still to review Islamic hudud laws governing rape. Meanwhile, these women feel that enlightenment must prevail if women are to be given a chance of justice in this society.

Balia village



SOCIETY FORCES EUNUCH TO LEAD A MISERABLE LIFE .

Abondened by the family and shunned by the society, India's eunuch hit another low at one of its kind fair, where they are put up for sale for bidders to buy them on contracts to perform at marriage parties and other celebrations.

Most like the ones in Balia village the eunuchs get exploited and victimised by the middlemen, pimps and contractors, who lease them out of self-styled event managers. Depending upon their performance and capability bidders pay different amount to different eunuchs. However, with the entry of several females into dancing, Kinners have lost their business in the market as compare to the previous years. Indeed there is no official estimate of the eunuch's population but the unofficial figure counts nearly five lakhs.

Chinnaswamy


POOR FATHER SOLD CHILD FOR SURVIVAL

Torn between grim reality and filial love, a poverty-struck father in southern India sold his youngest child only to support his large family of six. Ponraj, who sold his fourteen-year old Chinnaswamy to a factory owner in western Gujarat state for 45 dollars and a handful of rice was pained to read his son's letters stating the long working hours, underfeeding and physical and mental torture his employer put him through. Unable to bear his son's condition,

Ponraj then paid the owner a huge amount to get him back. Ponraj said it was difficult for him to take care of all the children after his wife died of jaundice two years ago. Ponraj is now resigned to a life of penury but is happy to have his son back and relieve him of his agony.

Surdashan Pattanaik



SAND ARTIST CAMPAIGN AGAINST HIV AIDS

With a sharp increase in the estimated number of HIV infections from a few thousands in the early 90's to around 5.1 million children and adults living with HIV AIDS in 2003, it seem that the HIV epidemics in India will have a major impact on the overall spread of the disease in Asia and Pacific and indeed worldwide.

Internatinally acclaimed Sand Artist Surdashan Pattanaik, who was recently in news for being soundeed by the Uttar Pradesh Government to sculpt a Taj Mahal in black in front of the white marbled replica is once again making waves by campaigning against HIV/AIDS through the medium of sand at Puri. Depicting the huge ribbon, the logo of national AIDS control programme and skeletonn showing danger of the deadly disease in an artist's imagination, these sculptures are a unique form of art that touches the viewers easily. Pattnaik, who has already represented India in 25 international sand sculpture championships has won several prizes for his unique form of art.

MISERABLE LIFE



BAR DANCERS LIVES MISERABLE LIFE

After announcing a ban on dance bars in Mumbai, it seems the life of bar dancers has become miserable in the city.

RISK AIDS FOR MONEY



INDIAN SEX WORKERS RISK AIDS FOR MONEY

Extreme powerty, leads women to risk their life through AIDS,only to be able to make a living.Rani has accepted her defeat in this battle of life, and all what she wants, is a better future for her children.

Rani Shah, a sex worker says, "I used to earn my living by performing dances. But now as I am a heart and kidney patient I cannot do such shows. I am a diabetic as well, so in order to earn a living, earn money to keep me alive, I have to do this work.My husband is a driver and i try to manage with whatever he gives me.I have to raise children as well,and he doesnt mind my profession.He has to take care of his own family and i have to take care of mine",says Rani.

R.N.Bhattacharya,working with the HIV/AIDS patients says,"Naturally in coming years if we cannot cope up with the infection, if we cannot check it, the rate of infection will increase. As we see many young people who are being infected, then the number of orphans will increase like anything and it will be extremely difficult to look after these tiny children. And many may lead their lives with stigma that their parents died of HIV/AIDS."

Driven by extreme poverty, the women at eastern Siliguri's Khalpara red light area, chose death over condoms, due to the pressing need to earn their daily bread and feed their children.. Almost everyone, from little children to ageing grandmothers here, know what HIV is.They know the risks and they know the prevention.

50,000 Colours


A TEXTILE OWNER REACHES GUINESS BOOK OF RECORDS

In a bid to make its mark in the Guinness Book of World Records, a leading silk saree company, has put on display a Kanchivaram silk saree having 50,000 distinct colours woven onto it. The "colourful" saree, available for sale on order at a cost of Rs 50,000, has been designed by the RmKV design studio headed by Rm K Sivakumar. Company's handpicked master weavers wove it together in a special check pattern to create 50,000 different colours in just 45 days.