Kaun Kitne Paani Mein, a film on the biggest issue facing mankind in
the coming years – water – will now premiere at the 7th World Water
Forum, taking place at Daegu, Korea between April 13-17. This is the
world biggest world water summit and the film directed by National
Award winner Nila Madhab Panda of I am Kalam and Jalpari fame stars
Saurabh Shukla, Gulshan Groverm Kunal Kapoor and Radhika Apte in
The film has been produced by the international NGO – One Drop Foundation.
Kaun Kitne Paani Mein aims at raising awareness about the issue of
water and sanitation in India’s rural areas where 70% of the
population lives and where the problem is most pressing and is a story
about two villages, Upri and Bairi. Upri is a village nestled in the
hills and Bairi is at the base of the Hill Range although close to
each other in proximity, are poles apart in every other measure as of
water access and economic development. The people of Upri were like
royalty and they had used the people of Bairi as their employees. This
had made the people of Bairi skilled in their work and also become
good farmers. The people of Upri who assumed these good times would
remain never planned for a rainy day and lived a rich life splurging
on all the resources.
But in 1992, as a result of a love quarrel between a young girl from
Upri and a young man from Bari, the villagers of Upri excommunicated
the inhabitants of Bari. The people of Bairi were devastated since
they got employment, food and money from working in Upri. But the
village survived. The thing that made them survive was the real
knowledge they had in terms of farming, harvesting and building wells
while they were working for the rich people from Upri.
Few years later an immense drought hit the area where Upri and
Bairiare located. Then the equation of power between the two villages
completely changed because of WATER. Upri, in its heydays, had never
truly worried about water as they had ample workforce from Bairi to
get water from far. They had splurged the water they had and also
eroded the water table by digging a lot of wells. Bairi, on the other
hand, had lived frugally and used water sparingly having realized that
it was a critical resource. They had hence planned for water storage,
rain harvesting and water table replenishment. After the drought,
Bairi had the ability to stock enough water for its needs and Upri, on
the other hand,was completely dependent on the Government for Water.
This shortage of water had affected Upri in all aspects from
agriculture to living. Upri had no toilets and the lands were all
barren. Bairi, on the other hand, had access to safe water, good
farming capabilities, and also had toilets in each home.
The head of the Upri village had a son Rajesh Singh in his mid-20s who
was coming back to the village after his higher education in the
nearby city. The people of Upri had pinned all their hopes on Raj and
wanted him to sort out the mess of water for them.
The head of the Bairi village has one daughter, Janhavi. Janhavi, the
heroine of the story, is a girl very rooted to the cause of water and
Bairi. She knows very clearly what made Bairi grow and what made Upri
what it is. She is a girl who has no problem speaking her mind. She
has an opinion and is also the women’s voice in the Panchayat.
The rest is pure Bollywood movie with love, politics, plot, music and dance.
Nila Madhab Panda’s past two movies “I am Kalam” (2011) and “Desert
Mermaid” (2012) were both successful in India and abroad. The
highly-acclaimed I Am Kalam has already won 24 International awards,
one national award, two Industry awards (FilmFare and Screen) and
several nominations, in addition to travelling to over 60
International film festivals.
The movie will be released initially in Hindi. Dubbed versions will
be made initially in Odya and Bengali. An English subtitled version
will also be released for the international market.