The director, Ganganamouni Shekar, has crafted the film Sarkaaru Noukari, after being inspired by real-life events. The film is inspired from events in the Kollapur division of Telangana in 1996. The plot revolves around the story of government official Gopal and his humiliation for being a distributor of condoms in his village. The stigma around fatal diseases like AIDS remains a rampant issue in many states of India. To add to the issue, the ignorance of people in many parts of the country causes them to become headstrong and they refuse to use protection. The taboo around the use of condoms in many households has been depicted in the film Sarkaaru Noukari. Will Gopal be able to impart knowledge to the villagers about the spread of the deadly disease? Will the villagers accept his advice? Let’s find out what happens eventually!
Why Did Sathya Dislike Gopal’s Job?
Sathya was told that the man she was about to marry had a stable government job and a good income. She agreed to her elders’ decisions and decided to get married to Gopal. When she went around in the village, she saw that she was respected because of her husband’s job. However, when the villagers learned about the nature of Gopal’s job, they treated them like untouchables. Sathya was humiliated by her friends and neighbors, who told her that her husband was a condom distributor. She was unable to bear the humiliation and asked her husband to quit his job. She threatened him, saying that she would abort their child if he did not listen to her. She did not want their child to grow up and face humiliation because of their father’s job. When Gopal eventually refused to give up his job, she decided to leave him behind and go stay at her father’s house.
Why Did The Villagers Humiliate Gopal?
Gopal’s job was not something that was understood by all. He was humiliated at the office by the higher officials for being a condom distributor. They looked down upon him and behaved as if he were doing something beneath human dignity. When Gopal went to the villagers to raise awareness, they insulted him and abused him physically. He was driven out of clinics as he was raising awareness on a topic that was considered taboo. He was also driven out of the brothel by the pimp, and he was told that they would lose customers if they made them use “the piece of plastic”. The Sarpanch, or head of the village, was also seen insulting him on various occasions for trying to let people know about the benefits of using protection.
Later, when Gopal met Hema Latha, the government school teacher, she helped him spread awareness in the village. This time, they started using force to do the needful! Gopal and Hema went up to the Sarpanch and told him that they would let the higher authorities know of his fund mismanagement if he didn’t help them spread awareness. Fearing that he would lose the elections if they complained, he arranged for a meeting in the village. Sarpanch was shocked to find that no youngster had turned up, but only the elderly men had shown up. When he started talking about the issue, no one paid heed to his words and left after a while. This highlighted the trouble that Gopal had to undergo on a regular basis to spread awareness in the village. People were just not ready to listen to his advice and do as told!
What Events Triggered Him To Spread More Awareness?
One day, when he went to meet his friend, Shiva, and found out that he had contracted the deadly disease. Right before going to meet Shiva, he had gone to meet his would-be wife, Ganga, and was happy that they would soon get married. When he came to know about Shiva’s state, he was shattered! After a few days, when Shiva died from the disease, he had seen the pain of losing a close one in Ganga and his parents’ eyes. This event led him to make the decision to build a rehabilitation center, where he would get all the villagers tested for the disease so that no one would be infected further.
The insensitive villagers were intent on driving Shiva’s parents out of the village, as they thought that even they had contracted the disease after living with him for a prolonged period of time. They were not educated enough to know that the disease would not spread through touching. They were also seen driving a woman to live on the outskirts of the village after her husband contracted the disease and died of it. This had left her child all alone at home, and she wouldn’t let him come close to her because she thought it could spread to him if she touched him. These events, where families were shattered, made Gopal remember his own childhood. He remembered how he had lost his father to the disease after he had traveled to another country. His mother was unable to cope with the situation and gave up her own life eventually. Gopal had lost both his parents at a very young age and did not want any other child to lose their parents to this deadly disease, so he decided to take up this job when he grew up.
What Happened In The End?
When Gopal told the Sarpanch to ensure that a meeting was held in the village where he could give a speech on the disease, he plotted against him. He made a plan along with the pimp and a prostitute, Kumari, to defame Gopal in front of the villagers. In the end, when Gopal went up on the stage, Kumari appeared before the villagers and told them how Gopal had not been using protection himself and had impregnated her. She told them that she was four months pregnant and wanted justice! Another man also came forward and accused him of having taken money from him and not returning it. When the villagers grew infuriated and were about to hit him, Shiva’s father told them that Gopal was their last hope for being safe against the disease and that they should listen to him.
Gopal also told the villagers that he was Narasimha’s son, whom the villagers had once driven out of the village after he had contracted the disease. He told them what difficulties he had faced as an orphan, and he did not want any child to have the same fate as his. The Sarpanch then apologized to him, saying that he was once Narasimha’s friend and had wasted all the money that his father used to send him for the village’s welfare. Later, a higher official from the Central Government came in to announce that Gopal had been chosen as the representative for spreading awareness for AIDS at a higher post. Gopal finally managed to get respect and acknowledgment from the villagers. His wife, Sathya, also realized what a grave mistake she had made in leaving Gopal, who was doing such a noble job, and eventually returned to him.
The film Sarkaaru Noukari is based on real-life events and highlights a real issue in India. The lack of knowledge and taboo around the subject of intercourse have caused many premature STD-related deaths. This film highlights the problem and the challenges faced by health counselors in rural areas. The humiliation that Gopal had to undergo is the story of thousands of people who are actually working in the same post as him. The film was entertaining, as there was a balance maintained with the inclusion of tragedy along with a dash of comedy added to it! The villagers’ ignorance about condoms comes out through the comic scenes. The comic element is highlighted when the children are seen blowing the condoms, thinking them to be balloons! Even children need to be educated at an early age so that they do not grow up to be irresponsible citizens.