Shaken by the suffering due to the tsunami disaster, a schoolboy in Port Blair began a novel campaign to secure aid for affected people in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The tragedy had changed the course of life for 14-year-old Nakul Goel who completed editing a 20-minute documentary Kudrat ka kahar (fury of nature) on Saturday evening and would launch it across all major Indian cities this week to collect aid for the affected.
"Most people don't realise how difficult the logistics in the islands are and how tough it becomes for relief agencies to provide succour. This aspect is conveyed to agencies and individuals who are still confused about how much to contribute," Goel says, his conviction and purpose belying his age.
The documentary, which he shot extensively on January 6-7 in relief camps, debris-ridden beaches and dismantled jetties in Port Blair, Hut Bay and Catchal Island, reflects the feelings of a very young mind, which has acquired a sudden maturity, to be one with collective grief.
Goel, a Class VIII student of the Vivekanand Kendriya Vidyalaya, was in the hill top winter camp in the Pathar Gadda area of the city doing physical exercises with his co-campers when the Earth shook violently on December 26.
"At first we thought it was the fatigue making our heads reel. But when our teacher felt the tremors, he realised it was an earthquake and asked us to lie down on the floor," Goel said recounting the events.
As news of the tsunami spread and everyone hurried back home, Goel was going around the camp comforting his peers who had no news of their friends.
"I did not realise the magnitude of the problem then. But in just a few days, the picture became clear. It was then that I thought of doing my small bit for the victims," the bespectacled boy says.
Egged on by his businessman father and English teacher, Goel began filming the travails of those in the relief camps with a handycam.
Shot in the coastal areas, the film is complete with heart-rending stories of the victims in need of help after false promises by political parties. It emphasises on the immediate need to get students back to school and depicts the meagre relief that they were receiving.
A critique and an appeal punched into one, the documentary also has shades of optimism.
"In one of the camps, I met a couple who had named their newly-born as Tsunami Shekar Roy. This I have used in the film to portray hope amidst despair," Goel said.
Nakul's father, Anil Goel, who runs a successful cement and woodwork business on the island, has arranged to send across the CDs of this film to various cities through an NGO 'Dweep Pidit Sahayta Samiti'.
"I only hope my efforts have an impact on those who want to contribute towards rebuilding the beautiful islands," the boy said.