In today’s digital era, especially during the coronavirus induced lockdown, the cases of mobile phone addiction among children and youth have gone up considerably. Even seven-year-olds are getting addicted to games and videos on phone. Recently, a 12-year-old mobile game addict in Mumbai killed himself after his mother snatched his phone away due to his addiction.
To create awareness about mobile phone addiction, 13-year-old Ojasdeep V in his recent Kannada film Haruva Hamsagalu through the character of a class monitor narrates the repercussions of the overuse and misuse of mobile phones. The film directed by Padmashri Dodrangegowda, a Kannada poet and lyricist, also talks about deaddiction and alternatives to mobile phone games.
Once an addict himself, Ojasdeep says the Kannada film has helped him understand the ill-effects of mobile phone addiction and cut down the number of hours he would spend on his phone. “I was really addicted to phone before I did this feature film. The first thing in the morning that I would do after I wake up was check social media pages on my phone. All my friends would also talk about games and videos on phone at school. When I would invite them over to my house, they would say they rather prefer to play games online with me. I would also be busy playing games while my mother would feed me lunch,” he recounts. He was so addicted to his phone that when he was preparing for his role, he could barely keep his hands off his phone for two days. But now, he uses his phone optimally, he says adding that now, he spends time drawing and playing chess with his family.
The 90-minute film was shot in a span of 15 days in October last year. “The film showcases how the class monitor along with his principal creates awareness about overuse and misuse of phones. The film sheds light on how the phone can be misused to illegally record videos and how addiction can lead to serious behavioural issues. We also provide solutions for the problem of addiction in the film. The boy and the principal lead awareness campaigns to other schools in villages and also provide alternatives for children to be physically engaged in some play and games,” says Vasuprasad H, producer, Deepankar Films under the banner of which the film was made at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.
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Initially planned for a theatrical release, the team has however decided to showcase the film at various schools and festivals due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. “We are also in talks with the Karnataka government to showcase the film to their school students,” adds Vasuprasad.
The team is also planning to hold workshops on mobile phone deaddiction by psychologists for a batch of 20 to 30 teenagers, starting from Children’s Day (November 14) this year at a centre near Bangalore University.
For more details or to showcase the film at your school, you can get in touch with Vasuprasad at 92428 84666.National, News