Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra says the inspiration for his upcoming directorial “Mere Pyare Prime Minister” comes from Mahatma Gandhi, who was a warrior on sanitation issues.
In a talk at the RISE Summit here, Mehra spoke about the film and the issue of sanitation, which he has been helping to tackle since the last four years via his association with an NGO.
“When it comes to cinema, it is entertainment first as that’s what brings the people in. Purpose has to be built into the cinema, along with the entertainment. My next film ‘Mere Pyare Prime Minister’ is inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. Shot in Mumbai, our set is called Gandhinagar.
“Few people know that Mahatma Gandhi was a warrior on sanitation issues,” Mehra said here on Monday in conversation with Karon Shaiva, organiser of the RISE summit, read a statement.
On a lighter vein, Mehra added that what attracted him to the subject of sanitation was that “when you gotta go, you gotta go”.
Mehra has been associated with Yuva Unstoppable NGO, which has been working towards building toilets in slum areas and municipal schools.
Asked about whether the fact that he is from Bollywood helped, he said it “opened some doors” for him.
However, he added that “you have to guard against people associating with you for the wrong reasons.”
Mehra was felicitated as a ‘RISE’ Citizen, along with Swaroop Rawal, whose doctoral degree in 2006 on ‘The role of drama in enhancing life skills in children with specific learning difficulties in a Mumbai school’, gave her a new calling to be relevant to society.