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Riding on dreams: Vedika Kruti's film documents the struggle of female auto drivers


The short student film tells the tale of a woman surviving in an alpha male's world, Haryana.

A still from Dreams On Wheels

Sukhpreet Kahlon

Vedika Kruti's short film Dreams On Wheels takes us through the hardships faced by women trying to earn a living. In doing so, the film chooses a woman with an unusual profession — an autorickshaw driver.

The central character of the film, Meena, is forced by poverty to provide for her family. To do so, she chose the rather unconventional vocation of driving an autorickshaw in a place steeped in patriarchal ideas, Haryana.

The film explores the various prejudices faced by women drivers and the sense of community that enables them to fight the acute prejudices that they have to face every day.

The short, well-structured film allows us a glimpse into the hopes and dreams of women like Meena who fight for their right to earn a living and work alongside men despite tremendous societal pressure to the contrary.

It also enables us to realize that while women are attaining new heights of success in different fields, the lives of women in backward, rural areas remains largely unchanged.

Though the filmmaker herself could not attend the interactions after the screening of her film, the film's editor Ankit was there and recounted the inspiration for the film. He spoke of how they found the protagonist in Rohtak and allowed her story to emerge in the film.

He said she was employed to drive autos as part of the 'Pink Auto project'. In response to questions from the audience, Ankit mentioned that Meena had watched the film and liked it.

Dreams On Wheels was screened as part of the Students' Films section at the 14th IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival being held at the India international Centre, New Delhi.

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IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival