Here is a child prodigy who has made the best of circumstances and opportunities available around her at the early age and as made a mark.
Masanagari Mayuri, a ten year old village dalit kid residing at the Deccan Development Society in Hyderabad has made two documentaries, Dhanwarlo O' Avva (A grandma in Dhanwar) and Naa Chenu, Naa Cheduvu (My Farm, My School), when she was just eight years old !
Her first film Dhanwarlo O' Avva has already received wide applause from several people across the country. It was premiered at Vibgyor International Film Festival held at Thrissur in 2009 while her second film, Naa Chenu, Naa Cheduvu was selected for the opening film at International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT).
Armed with a notebook, hanging a still camera to her neck and a video camera in her hand, she is in city to attend the one-day meet on 'Mysore Heritage City – GMO Free city' organised by SAGE on August 27 at 5.30 pm at SP Bhat Auditorium.
Born into a Dalit family, her parents Narsimlu and Punyamma are landless farm labourers in Mayuri of Pastapur village in Medak District of Andhra Pradesh. She is studying 6th standard at the Government Primary school in her village.
When Express questioned her as to what attracted her to make a documentary, she said that it was interest in agricultural that motivated her to make a documentary and click pictures.
Speaking about her documentary of 80-year-old woman she said, "In 2009, during my winter holidays, I visited the farm house of one Ratnavva in Dhanwar village with my camera. Watching her grow various types of vegetables and crops in her farm, as she never bought anything from the market, the thought of making a film about her occurred to me." and added thoughtfully after a pause, "How nice it would be if all of us were like her."
`While working for my next documentary, `Naa Chenu, Naa Cheduvu', I regularly visited the farm every week, observing and recording everything, from the time it was sowed to till the time it was harvested. There were many things I didn't understand as the crops grew in the fields, but I took the help of my grandparents and began to learn about the crops.'
Naa Chenu, Naa Cheduvu is a good example of how ordinary common knowledge can be explained in a simple way, especially for kids of the present Internet generation also called Generation, without depending on the elders, novel ways of educating rural children, making their own farmlands into practical workshops supplementing with what they read in the text books.
Explaining how she learnt to operate a video camera at such an young age, she said, `I learnt how to handle a digital camera when I was four years old. I began shooting pictures of people and things around me. I wrote photo essays for fun in the beginning, but later as the quality of photographs improved, I began taking it seriously.'
`As my aunt Chinna Narsamma is a pioneer filmmaker, while my uncle Yesu is a video editor they taught me all the necessary things. I spent most of my childhood playing in the editing room of the Community Media Trust started by my aunt and her friends, all of which helped me in my endeavor,' she said and added, "First I learnt how to operate small video camera and during weekends, I learnt how to make short two minute video clips."
Mayuri aspiring to become an agriculture journalist want to create awareness on ecological agriculture and interested in photography. In the meanwhile she is also learning vocal and Hindustani music.