Global warming is a problem that is engulfing Mother Earth, and the environment is at risk. Keeping the planet green has become immensely important in this day and age. It is imperative that children be educated about this crisis in the simplest of ways. Well, India’s first female superhero Priya comes to their aid.
New York based filmmaker and technologist Ram Devineni is the brain behind the comic series Priya’s Shakti. Priya has journeyed amongst the masses since 2014 with grit and determination. She rides on her tiger Sahas, a true emblem of courage. Her missions are noble, and she has campaigned against evils like rape, acid-attacks, and sex trafficking that need to be wiped from the face of the earth.
Priya now steps forward to protect the environment and heal Mother Earth!
Appropriately timed to suit the objective of World Earth Day, Priya’s Shakti has come up with the short film Priya and the Twirling Wind. It is the story of Somya, a girl who needs to be admitted to the hospital because of her asthma, a plight caused by the toxic air she breathes.
Priya visits Somya with her flying tiger Sahas and takes her on a ride. As they fly over the smoke-covered city and Somya coughs, Priya tells her, “This bad air has made you ill!” They travel through the green woods where Somya meets Priya’s friends. Her nasty cough disappears when the air is fresh and not polluted. Somya learns about the importance of clean air and energy and about the importance of planting trees.
The film echoes the Chipko movement in which rural women stood with their arms around trees to prevent them from being cut. Available on YouTube, it is directed and scripted by renowned puppeteer Raven Kaliana.
There is an interesting part of this package. Along with the film are Priya’s interviews with environmentalists Dr. Vandana Shiva and Professor Chris Rapley on the priyashakti.com website.
An icon of female empowerment
Channeled primarily towards the younger generation, Priya’s Shakti essentially revolves around the 3 E’s: educate, enlighten, and entertain. The comic series is reminiscent of the Amar Chitra Katha books of our childhood days in which we learned about Indian mythology, historical figures, folklore, and culture. However, Priya’s Shakti is geared towards spreading awareness on contemporary issues and also seeks to highlight the themes of gender equality and women empowerment.
With her resilience and her courage to raise a voice against inequality, Priya stands tall as an icon of woman power. It is worth noting that the Priya’s Shakti crew largely consists of women who assist in the creative process. The creators were honored by UN Women as “Gender Equality Champions”.
Priya’s Shakti focuses on the need of the hour!
Priya’s Shakti has always addressed relevant issues that have plagued society. In the wake of the pandemic, the team did not sit still but instead came up with a brilliant innovation. Their animated film, titled Priya’s Mask, provided lessons about following COVID protocols like wearing masks and talked about the greatness of love and compassion in hard times.
We believe in the power of Priya. Let us hope that even in the future, Priya’s Shakti will continue to address important matters for the upcoming generations, circulating knowledge and building an inclusive, informed society along the way.
( This article was featured in Women’s Web )