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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s latest animated series focuses on Child Labour and Abuse

News Desk |

Acclaimed documentarian and filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, has released a four-part animated series revolving around the plight of child labour and abuse. The animated series, titled ‘Shattering the Silence’, sheds light on the social injustice of child abuse, depicting real-life incidents.

The animated movie, in Urdu, tends to stimulate social awareness on the subject by critically engaging the audience and children specifically. The short-series aims to educate its young viewers of the corresponding laws, the resources which can be accessed, the steps they can take to help those children who are forced into marriages have been subjected to trafficking,  labour or physical abuse.

Read more: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy receives an honorary degree from Smith College

The first episode, titled;’ Cheena Hua Bachpan’, narrates the story of a young girl who was trafficked into working as a domestic help at an affluent home but was deprived of her basic human rights. The documentary encoded the emotional, psychological and physical abuse the child has to go through while working as a domestic help at such an early age.

The same episode also explains how this situation can be defined legally, educating their audiences about the resources and steps they can take for their rescue and protection. Each episode tends to be two to three minutes long. The girl has been sold off by the family to work as a domestic help to pay off a loan.

The character of a young girl can be seen remembering her mother while working.  “Whenever I hung the clothes out to dry, I could almost smell my Ami’s dupatta,” she says at the start of the episode. In another shot, the girl is shown being locked up in a storeroom cupboard, beaten and even starved for days.

Read more: Sharmeen Obaid’s ‘Aagahi’ will educate women on their legal rights

“Two years passed by. My dreams faded away. All I have are the scars”, the girl can be seen contemplating as she looks at her marks in the mirror.

The ‘Shattering the Silence’ is very much in consonance with the rampant surge in the cases of child abuse reported in recent times. Where strict enforcement of the law is rudimentary, awareness campaigns like these can help keep such social plights at bay.