Renowned filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who is presently making a film based on lack of toilets in our country, is actually building them in the slums where he is shooting. According to reports, the filmmaker who began filming his next movie – Mere Pyare Prime Minister, in a slum in Ghatkopar, has now got a no objection certificate (NOC) from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to build 20 toilets there, including five separate toilets for men and women.
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, who is known for his movies like Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, has been collaborating with the NGO, Yuva Unstoppable, for the last four years to transform slums by building toilets.
According to media reports, when the filmmaker was questioned on the subject, he insisted that his contribution is “not even a drop in the ocean“. “We don’t just build toilets and walk away but we also make sure the locals maintain them. We’ve been having meetings with slum-dwellers and corporators of the area, urging them to put one rupee in the donation box so that the community workers can be given their dues,” said Mehra.
“The new toilets are as good as the ones in private buildings, with proper pipelines and extensions with taps where they can get clean, drinking water,” said Mehra who after seeing the Gandhi’s model toilets at the Sabarmati Ashram was motivated to pick up this cause and has so far built over 800 toilets.
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Presently, the biggest problem faced by Mehra is that the Mumbai slums are built on unauthorized land owned by the BMC so he cannot legally build a toilet as there are no pipelines or water connections available. However, he is working on it at the community level.
With ‘Mere Pyare Prime Minister’ Rakeysh is coming up with an altogether different plot focusing mainly on slum life. His film revolves around four kids living in a Mumbai slum. One of them wants to build a toilet for his single mother and makes an appeal to the Prime Minister.