Inspector makes ‘Helping Hands’ film about victims of road accidents

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An assistant police inspector with Pune city police traffic branch has made a short film to underscore the callous indifference public display when witnessing a road accident and how very few victims get the medical attention they need within the `golden hour’ leading to fatality that could be avoided.

The city traffic police has welcomed the film and is all set to give it a grand release as the film was recently certified by the Censor Board.

API Mahesh Sartape, in-charge of Warje Traffic division, has written the story, directed and produced the film besides acting. An officer from the 2004 batch, Sartape had earlier made a seven minute film about role of police during Ganpati visarjan last year.

Mahesh Sartape
Mahesh Sartape

The short film boosted his confidence. With full support from his boss, DCP (traffic branch) Sarang Awad and Police Commissioner KK Pathak, Sartape made the film ‘Helping Hands’ about a month back. “About 50 percent of accident victims can be saved if they are admitted to a hospital within the first one hour which is referred to as golden hour. Even though the Supreme Court has framed guidelines that a good samaritan or bystander who helps accident victim, shall not be harassed, still many people do not come forward to lend a helping hand fearing harassment by police or appearing in courts.

Talking about the initiative, DCP Awad said, “Film is a strong medium which has maximum impact on people as they remember scenes and dialogues for long time. Through this film, we want to give message that people can atleast inform the police by dialling 100 or call in ambulance by dialling 108 from their phones. This will help in saving precious lives. We assure that people will not be harassed for helping accident victims.”

The story of the film is about family comprising four members. On getting his first salary the boy wants to give treat to his parents and sister and also it is his birthday. After cutting cake, he wanted to take them for movie and goes first to buy tickets. However he meets with an accident. Though a crowd gathers around him while he is lying unconscious, nobody helps him. After sometime a senior citizen comes forward and seeks help but in vain. Meanwhile victim’s parents pass through the road and this man also asks for help from them but they go away. Later they come to know at a hospital that because of this man only their son could survive. When they wanted to thank them, he asked them to help some accident victim instead as son had died on the road because nobody helped him.

Recalling some while making the film, Sartape recalled, “Many people lifted our actor and were taking him to hospital, when we had to tell them that a film shooting is going on. Several women also requested bystanders to help him. We gave roses to all such people as token of appreciation. It shows that there are people who help in such cases.”

API Mahesh Sartape in yellow t-shirt) interacting cast and crew members of the film.
API Mahesh Sartape ( in yellow t-shirt) interacting cast and crew members of the film.

Among the actors are Deepak Kathale, Manisha Tambe, Nilam Jhamre, Abhishek Avchat and Mayur Dhanwani and cameraman Parasad Mane, who also edited the film. “I started researching for the film about three months back and once it was finalised we shot the movie on May 2, in a single day. I was on leave as it was my birthday and I utilised it in shooting the film. The film was shot at Navle bridge on Sinhgad Road, City Pride, and Navle hospital. We got support from staffs of the hospital and they also acted in the film,” added Sartape, who played the character of a doctor, and also did voice over.

The film is in Marathi with sub titles in English. It will be shown at theatres, tv channels, and at prominent locations during the Ganpati festival. It will also be uploaded on Pune police website and other social media websites like YouTube. “The aim is to reach the maximum people. It is not a commercial film and none of the actors charged any fee as they did it for a cause,” Sartape further said.


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