A Young Man’s Resolve to Leave Behind Ancestral Poverty
Sunil Kumar is a young man from rural Haryana, a state in northern India, who runs about 20 kilometres every day. He aspires to be a soldier in the Indian Army, which, he hopes, would help him move out of his ancestral poverty. But for that, he will have to be physically fitter than an ordinary man. In his previous attempts, he has failed to clear the entrance exam, of which running is an important part.
In December, he faces his last attempt. If he gets selected, he would be the first person in his family to ever get a job and steady income. However, he has many hurdles to overcome which include poverty itself.
A recent report by the National Statistical Office of the Indian government indicates that rural poverty rose nearly 4 percentage points between 2011-12 and 2017-18 to 30 percent. This shows that as many as 250 million people in rural India alone fall below the poverty line.
The “Every Indian Matters” series comprises nine films that seek to connect India’s so-called mainstream communities with its marginalised sections. The series aims at encouraging audiences to cross the boundaries of religion, caste, class and region to empathise with those outside their natural affinity. It comes out of StoriesAsia’s core belief that each story intrinsically carries human experience and emotions that are common to all humans. And that’s what can drive the point home – that every Indian matters.