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Chhakda

A Film by Balaji Mohan, Ipsit Patel, Rika Chaudhry, Sagarika Suri

Synopsis

Chhakda (chha‘-kk-dah) n. 1 A three wheeled automobile for six passengers.2 A legal mode of public transport connecting urban areas to the rural hinterland. 3 An illegal means of transport, providing cheap and efficient service, within the city limits. Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The chhakda is a source of livelihood for the owner, the driver, the mechanic... the police. The owner, a small time business man, rents the chhakdas he owns. The mechanic is constantly repairing these makeshift vehicles. The chhakda driver, aged between fifteen to thirty years, with a recently acquired street-smart attire and attitude.

This young man, a high school dropout, drives the chhakda because of

economic needs, and for the independence that it allows him. The chhakda is his sole source of income. The police extort money from the chhakda driver, taking advantage of the dubious situation. The law states that the chhakda is illegal in the city. The lawmaker cannot relate to the problems in the public transport system. He does not realize that the chhakda provides an indispensable service to the urban commuter, in the absence of anything more efficient. The solution does not lie in completely banning the chhakda, but instead in systematically harnessing their potential for the benefit of the common man.

24:47 min

December 2004


Chhakda

A Film by Balaji Mohan, Ipsit Patel, Rika Chaudhry, Sagarika Suri

Background and context Ahmedabad, Gujarat As students, shortage of money and the rush of things force us to find the most effective means of getting around the city. The noisy, versatile chhakda, bursting at its seams with people, shuttling around the city at phenomenal speed (for its size and content) works well for a majority of people for precisely this reason. A few months back we noticed their absence on some of our frequent routes. On questioning we learned that the chhakda is in fact illegal within the city. It is allowed because the drivers pay bribe to the police. This intrigued us; this convenient, economical, frequent, immensely popular and very visible mode of public transport was illegal (?!). Further investigation brought to light the various intricacies of the chhakda and the people who depend on it. The aim of this film is to bring to the notice of the concerned authorities and the people who use the Chhakda, the plight of the Chhakda driver- his trials and triumphs and the uncertainty of his future in the face of constant harassment, the instability of his economic situation, where his only source of income is continually under threat.

24:47 min

December 2004


Curriculum vitae

Name:

Ipsit Patel

Address:

501/ 21 Satyagrah Chhavani, Satellite Road, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Telephone:

+91 9898220036

Email:

ipkiss_p@yahoo.com

Education:

Thesis, School of Architecture, CEPT, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. GB Board GB Board

12th standard 10th standard

Went on Exchange Program At the VSVU, Bratislava Slovakia. Date of Birth/Age:

31st July 1981, 24 years.

Work Experience:

Worked for a period of 5 months in the office of Architect Gerard de Cunha, Goa.

Other Interests:

Art & Crafts: Sculpture, Graphics Travelling:

Have travelled extensively around India and abroad.

Theatre: Set Design. Part of Students performance group “Naatakbaazi” Made “Chhakda” –(23 mins) stop films 2004


Curriculum Vitae

Name:

Rika Chaudhry

Permanent Address:

Ujala Apts., 755, Parsi Colony, Dadar, Bombay-400014

Current address:

School of Architecture, CEPT, University Road, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380009

E-mail:

rika_chaudhry@yahoo.com

Date of Birth/Age:

18th September 1981, 24 years.

Education:

Currently doing Thesis, School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Indian School Certificate 1999, from the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay. Indian Certificate for Secondary Examination 1997, from the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay.

Work Experience:

Worked for a period of 3 months in the office of Architect Ralph Baenziger, Zurich, Switzerland. Worked for a period of 5 months in the office of Architect Hafeez Contractor, Bombay.

Other Interests:

Art & Crafts: Painting, photography, linoleum printing. Travelling: Have travelled extensively around India and abroad. Theatre: Participated in plays at school and college level. Part of Students performance group Naatakbaazi” Movies: “Chhakda” –(23 mins) stop films 2004


Curriculum Vitae

Name:

Sagarika Suri

Permanent Address:

N9/3, Ph-2 DLF city, Gurgaon,

Current address:

School of Architecture, CEPT, University Road, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad-380009

E-mail:

sagarikasuri@yahoo.com

Date of Birth/Age:

14th November 1981, 24 years.

Education:

Currently doing Thesis, School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Central Board for secondary education 1999, from The Air Force School, New Delhi. Central Board for secondary education 1997, from The Air Force School, New Delhi.

Work Experience:

Worked for a period of 6 months in the office of Architect Dean D’Cruz, Goa. Exhibition Design for Italia tiles, Ahmedabad.

Other Interests:

Music: play the Piano and have participated in interschool music competitions.

Haryana-122002

Print and Graphics: Linoleum printing, Photography, Poster making- actively involved in poster design for the college festival. Theatre: attended workshops on theatre and dance. Part of Students performance group Naatakbaazi” Movies: “Chhakda” –(23 mins) stop films 2004


Curriculum Vitae

Name:

Balaji Mohan R

Permanent Address:

47, Ramakrishna mutt road, Mylapore, Chennai.TN 600004

Current address:

School of Architecture, CEPT, University Road, Navrangpura,Ahmedabad-380009

E-mail:

rbm_5@yahoo.com

Date of Birth/Age:

5th July 1982,23 years.

Education:

Currently doing Thesis, School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad. Higher Secondary .1999, from Anna Gem, Chennai. Central Board for secondary education 1997, from P.S School, Chennai.

Work Experience:

Worked for a period of 6 months at MICD Associates, Colombo, Srilanka under Ar. Chhanna Daswatte. Ms. Jeevan and Associates, Chennai for 3 months

Other Interests:

Sculpture-tried various materials, Painting-(oil on canvas) .Have participated in various interschool competitions. Theatre: attended workshops on theatre and dance. Acted in four English plays, part of Students performance group Naatakbaazi”. Set design and execution for one play. Made various video sketches, and “Chhakda” –(23 mins) stop films 2004

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