President lauds children’s digital film fest

MUMBAI: At the Golden Jubilee Film festival organized by Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI), Indian President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam addressed the audience and spoke about the digital world and its impact.

“I am delighted to participate in the Golden Jubilee Film festival organized by Children’s Film Society of India. My greetings to the organizers, creative artists, film producers, technicians, editors and children. Fifty years is an important landmark for this institution in promoting the children’s education in the country. The introduction of the children’s digital film festival is an important step and will definitely enable creation of low cost, high quality visual films for enhancing the learning of the children,” he said.


It is essential that the content of digital film should be able to create enthusiasm in the mind and the body and above all lead to creativity. I congratulate you for promoting such innovative addition to your existing tasks. I would like to discuss how digital technology enhances the learning curve of the children,” Dr Kalam added.


The President also narrated some real life stories, which he thought could be transformed into children’s digital films. One of the story revolved around Mahatma Gandhi and the advice given to him by his mother. The advice was thus – “Son, in your entire life time, if you can save or better someone’s life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success. You have the blessing of the Almighty God”.


“This advice has made a deep impact in the mind of Gandhiji, which made him to work for the humanity throughout his life. A digital episode of this beautiful event can be created,” said Dr Kalam.


He also narrated an incident surrounding the life of a great saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Gelani, which happened about a 1000 years ago. “At the age of 8, Abdul Qadir left his native place in Iraq to become a great Darvesh (saint). One day child Abdul Qadir heard a cow saying that what you are doing here in the grazing fields, it is not for this that you have been created. He promptly ran back to his house feeling utterly terrified and climbed on to the roof of his house. From there he saw a large group of people returning from Arafat Mountain, thousands of miles away from his place in the neighbourhood of Mecca after performing Haj. Bewildered Abdul Qadir went to his mother and asked her permission to make a journey to Baghdad and pursue a career in knowledge. Mother heard the divine call and promptly gave the permission for him to go. But, she gave him 40 gold coins, which was his share he inherited from his father. She stitched these 40 gold coins inside the lining of his coat and gave him permission to leave. When she stepped out of the door to bid him a farewell, she said, “Oh, my son! You are going! I have detached myself from you for the sake of Allah knowing that I shall not see your face again until the day of last judgement. But take one advice from mother, ‘My son, you always feel the truth, speak the truth and propagate the truth even when your life is at stake.’ 


Abdul Qadir travelled with a small caravan heading for Baghdad. During the journey, when the caravan was passing through the tough terrains, a group of robbers on horses suddenly attacked the caravan and started looting. None of them however took the slightest notice of Abdul Qadir, until one of the looters turned to him and said. “You are here poor man. Do you have anything with you? Abdul Qadir replied, “I have got 40 Dinars, which are stitched by my mother in the lining of my coat underneath my armpit.” The looter smiled and thought that Abdul Qadir was just joking. He left him alone and moved elsewhere. Then the second looter came and asked the same thing. Abdul Qadir again repeated his answer. The looter also didn’t believe him and left him. When their leader came and they took this boy to their leader and said to him, “This boy looks like a beggar but claims that he is in possession of 40 gold coins. We looted everybody but we have not touched him because we hardly believed that he has got gold coins with him and he is trying to fool ourselves.”


Then the leader put the same question but Abdul Qadir replied the same. Then the leader ripped through his coat and discovered that he indeed got 40 gold coins inside the lining of his coat.


The astonished leader asked Abdul Qadir, what prompted him to make this confession? Abdul Qadir replied. “My mother made me promise to always be truthful even at the cost of my life.” Here, it was a matter of only 40 Dinars. I promised her and never betrayed her trust so I told the truth. The looters started weeping and said, you have adhered to the advice of your great mother but we have been betraying the trust of our parents and the covenant of our Creator for many years. From now onwards, you would become our leader in our repentance and they all decided to give up robbery and from that day they became righteous persons. Here the world saw a birth of a great saint, Shiek Abdul Qadir Al-Gilani out of truth a mother gave to her child.


“Apart from creating digital films on such stories, they can also be used to create in the minds of the children concepts, which will create a spirit that ‘I can do it,’” added Dr Kalam. 


“All the technological advancements we have today are the outcome of scientific exploration of scientists of earlier centuries. At no time, man was beaten by problems. He strives continuously to subjugate impossibility and then succeeds,” he said.


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