by Sarah Giles on November 8, 2013 in Cannock NewsWhat’s On

An award-winning, Oscar-nominated short film is coming to Cannock to highlight the plight of thousands of children in India caught up in modern day slavery as bonded labourers.

The film ‘Kavi’ won US director and producer Gregg Helvey a Student Academy Award in 2009 and a nomination for an Academy Award the following year, but this is the first time that public screenings have been arranged in the UK. Stafford-based human rights charity Dalit Freedom Network UK, who campaign to end the human trafficking and slavery of India’s Dalits (Untouchables), is showing the film at the Electric Palace Picture House in Walsall Road at 8pm on Sunday 10 November as part of India’s Lost Childhood. Special guest Kumar Swamy, South India Human Rights Convenor, will be interviewed and there will also be an audience Q&A

Gregg Helvey, the film’s director, says,

“I was shocked to learn that 27 million people around the world are enslaved today. As I began to research and understand the extent of modern slavery, I knew that I had to make a movie about it. People had to know.” Kavi is the story of a young boy in India who wants to go to school and to play cricket with other children. Instead he is forced to work in a brick kiln as a modern day slave.

“Kavi’s story may be fiction, but sadly it reflects the reality for hundreds of thousands if not millions of children in India who are forced to work as modern day slaves in brick kilns, textile factories, quarries, cotton fields, and so on, and even in people’s homes as domestic servants” says Kumar Swamy. “So many of these children, possibly nine out of ten, are Dalits – Untouchables. It’s tragic, it’s inhuman, it’s a crime, and the world needs to know about how these children are being exploited and abused. These children need hope and freedom, they need a childhood to be able to go to school and play with friends.”

The first Global Slavery Index published this month, confirms that India has almost half the world’s slaves, and most of them are Dalits. Dalit Freedom Network (DFN) is working to prevent the trafficking and bonded labour of Dalit children by providing them with a quality education to provide skills and knowledge that will enable them to get better jobs. DFN UK supports over 100 schools in India run by their Indian partners. Without these schools as many as ten thousand of the twenty five thousand pupils would otherwise have been trafficked or enslaved in bonded labour. People can find out more and make donations to DFN UK’s work at

Free tickets can be obtained in advance from Dalit Freedom Network by calling 01785 785068 or emailing [email protected], or in person from the cinema. More details are available at

Child labor Bangladesh Oscar nominated film on child slavery in India comes to CannockIMG: Source

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