Because of Our Rights
Filmed in Ghad, in the district of Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, the film documents the struggle of forest dwellers to re-establish their lost rights on the forest. The people of Ghad have traditionally twisted bhabbar, a wild grass, into rope. But the nationalisation of forests by the British, followed by subsequent governments of independent India, made access to this grass more and more difficult. The forest dwellers had to pay a high price for the grass that was their traditional right. But made aware of their rights, they were no longer silent. The film raises significant questions relating to ownership, and role of locals in managing and conserving forests.
The film has been used extensively in the region to spread the message of the struggle to more people within the area. It has also been widely screened and used by groups working on issues related to environment, forest and human rights in India and abroad.