Tsunami-hit children in southern India make movie of their experience

Six children from a tsunami-ravaged area in southern India have made a movie about how the disaster affected their lives, a child rehabilitation group behind the project said Monday.

The British-based Plan International said the aim of the 20-minute documentary was to ensure that the needs of children, one of the worst-hit groups in the tsunami, were given a voice. The movie was shown Friday in the southern city of Madras.

The two boys and four girls, aged between 11 and 16, from the impoverished Nagapattinam district had never encountered cameras before being approached by the group to make the documentary, said Bhagyashree Dengle, executive director of the Indian office of the group.

The six volunteered when the group went to the coastal villages and proposed the idea to affected families.

Nagapattinam was one of the worst-affected areas by the Dec. 26 tsunami, accounting for 6,065 of the India's more than 10,000 deaths. At least 17,000 families were left homeless in the district.

The movie titled "Tsunami: Before and After" details how children were easy prey for the waves of the tsunami, as well as disruption to the schooling of those who survived and their living conditions in temporary shelters, she said.

The boys, Sobarnath and Arivazhagan, and the girls, Padma Sivaraman, Manisha, Roja Ramani and Pakya, took 10 days to make the 20-minute documentary under guidance from renowned Bollywood filmmaker Govind Nihalani, the AP reports.

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