Her Song aims to tell the Banchara story and accurately place caste-based prostitution within a larger historical context. In so doing, the film will catalyze healing, support and change for these marginalized groups who have endured generation upon generation of caste discrimination, extreme marginalization and the abuse of their rights as human beings.
Through the medium of documentary film we are working to bring truth and reconciliation to one of the deepest tragedies of the British colonial presence in India. Under the British Criminal Tribes Act of 1871, the Banchara were just one of many formerly nomadic tribes who were declared ‘born criminals’. The Banchara, along with other similar communities across South Asia practice caste-based prostitution in which girls are pushed into this work at very young ages and boys grow up dependent on the income of their sisters to feed their own children. Deep-rooted corruption across all sectors feeds the continuation of this caste ‘trade.’
The documentary displays an explicit example of caste discrimination, one of the worst human rights abuses effecting a population of over 270 million across South Asia and the world today. We aim for this film to serve as another great spark in this crucial conversation as the 270 million Dalit population continues to find support, strength and access to justice to rise above the centuries old hierarchical system of caste. The former criminal tribes have survived as non-citizens in India, even below the Dalit population in the caste hierarchy that continues to dominate.
The film will raise awareness about the intersectionality of caste discrimination, poverty and sex trafficking. Through on-ground alliances we aim to catalyze real, pragmatic, community-based solutions to ensure access to justice, healthcare, education and alternative work opportunities for the Banchara and other communities sharing a similar fate. Read More