Water is crucial to meet the basic human needs. But access to safe drinking water is becoming a problem in many places. World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of all sickness in the world is attributable to unsafe water and sanitation. Water-borne diseases kill 3.4 million people, mostly children, annually. Million more are sickened with diarrhea, malaria, schistosomiasis, arsenic poisoning, trachoma, and hepatitis—diseases that are preventable by access to clean water and health care information. The World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are water related. Of these, diarrhea related diseases alone killed over 700,000 Indians in 1999 (estimated) (i.e) over 1,600 deaths each day. The provision of safe water alone will reduce diarrheal and enteric disease by up to 50%, even in the absence of improved sanitation or other hygiene measures. Hence creating awareness among general public on the importance of water and related issues is important.
The Centre for Development Communication of DHAN Foundation had produced a film “Kodangi” with its core theme on safe drinking water. The film is produced with the objectives of creating awareness about water and its related issues, motivating different segments of the society to get involved in water related issues, volunteering and raising resources for water management, initiating collaboration and joint action with other agencies working in the field of water etc. The idea behind is that the villagers will atleast take care of whichever is suitable to them from the film.
Human being becomes a threat through their activities that are hazardous to environment. The story projects the idea that the solution does not come from others but it is with every human being. The film is made in docudrama style. It addresses the issues of untreated drinking water and portrays various health problems resulting from bad sanitation with solutions in a folk medium. It is the belief of village people that the Karuppusamy God being disguised in the form of man predicts the future. This belief system of Karuppusamy arul vaku in the southern parts of TamilNadu and the Alagar festival celebrated in Madurai, TamilNadu is the central theme and issues have been interwoven around it. Different issues and dimensions of safe drinking water such as socio, cultural and psychological aspects of water are dealt in this film. These issues have been told forcefully through temple foretellers (kodangi) whom the people usually consider as the voice of the Karuppasamy deity. The theme is stressed at the end of each scene when Lord Karuppasamy addresses the people in different villages.
The film will be screened in all villages by using a mobile van. The message conveyed in local language will surely capture the attention of audience and will educate them about the ill effects of poor quality of water and its impact on health.