Georgia Tech Student Centre Theater Screenings, Ga Tech
November 14, 2006

Yamuna Gently Weeps (Narrative Short)
USA Premier
Director: Ruzbeh N. Bharucha, INDIA
Duration: 72 minutes

Yamuna Gently Weeps is a film on the Yamuna Pushta slum demolitions, written and directed by journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker, Ruzbeh N Bharucha. Yamuna Pushta in Delhi was one of the oldest and largest slums in India. In reality, a chain of 22 small slums, located on a three-kilometer stretch along the Yamuna River, the settlement was home to 40,000 families, which housed more than 1,50,000 people and was in existence for decades. 

Yamuna Pushta was virtually a township, where a world within a world existed. In the guise of resettlement, encroachment, pollution and beautification of the city, in early 2004, in a matter of weeks, 40,000 homes were demolished, without any rehabilitation plan and the past, present, future of 1,50,000 people were bulldozed to the ground. Neither the Judiciary, those in power nor the implementing agencies, had heard of the concept called Rehabilitation.

Barely 20 percent of those displaced were allotted plots, on a barren piece of land in Bawana: forty kilometers away from civilization. A land that had no civic amenities and was so far away from the main city, that there was no source of earning a livelihood. The remaining 80 percent were forced to take refuge on the streets along with their salvaged belongings, until they found some way out of their miserable plight. The film takes the reader into the lives of those poor families, whose homes and future were brutally razed to the ground. The director, present throughout the demolition process, as well as a witness to the heartlessness of those in power, through interviews with slum dwellers and politicians and interviews with eminent town planners, environmentalists and activists, makes his point of view bluntly clear.

The director, also through the eyes of those who lost it all, tells a heartrending tale of tears, courage, determination and most importantly, brings to light, the hollowness of the system and all that, which was once was held, sacred and beyond reproach. The role (or the lack of it), of the Judiciary, the Media, those in Power and the implementing agencies are brought to light.

Copyright 2014 Ruzbeh N. Bharucha.