Not all Black

Not all Black

A few days ago, the principal of Jidd School for special children, Shyamashree Bhonsle, called this writer to relate her experience of watching the movie Black. So moved was she by the film’s depiction of a deaf-blind girl and her struggles that she fell short of words when praising the film. She said that as the principal and teacher of a school for special children, she found the movie particularly relevant. She also said that if she ever got an opportunity, she would strongly recommend the movie to parents of every physically or mentally challenged child because the film has many lessons for them. This discussion became the impetus of the free special screening of the movie at Cinewonder last Saturday.

Aastha Charitable Trust, Inner wheel club of Thane Hills and a few socially conscious residents got together and approached the management of Cinewonder Multiplex at Godbunder road requesting them to make available one of the enclosures for a free screening of the film. Cinewonder graciously agreed and last Saturday, about 250 parents of children suffering from mental or physical disabilities, and their teachers attended the special screening.

The film, which has beautifully portrayed the life of someone who lives in the world of silence and darkness, stirred most viewers into tears. Almost all parents who attended the screening felt that their, and the lives of their children, was reflected in the movie and admitted that the film touched a chord in their hearts. Many said that they were so caught up coping with the present that they had not considered many issues which may arise in time, which the film aptly illustrated. Some confessed at being harsh at times with their special children and vowed to be more considerate from now on. Judging by the reactions of viewers, Bhonsle’s objective was more than met.

Prior to the show was a small function, where Mayor Rajan Vichare presided as the chief guest. Also present at the show were N U Nayak, General Manager at the Helen Keller Institution for Deaf and Deaf Blind at New Mumbai and a few students including Zameer, the young man who was among those who taught Rani Mukherjee and Amitabh Bachchan the nuances of communicating using the sign language. When Vichare asked Zameer what his contribution to the film Black was, the latter, being deaf and blind, replied in sign language (translated by a teacher), "I taught Rani to speak in sign language. I taught her to type on a Braille typewriter. I also taught her to use the white cane that blind persons use."

Thanks to the show, our city might soon get a school for blind and deaf-blind because mayor Vichare, noting that our city lacked such a school, announced that he will set one up, with the help of the teachers and other residents. Hiral Kanakia from Cinewonder too pledged her support for any cause relating to the special children. The special screening was thus special in more way than one.

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