Rooting for Roona

A film that fights for the health of the Indian child and captures the incredible story of baby Roona Begum, a one and a half year old girl born in a tiny village in the state of Tripura. She suffers from hydrocephalus, a birth defect caused by a build-up of fluid in the brain leading to massive swelling of the head.

Rooting for Roona is a documentary that fights for the health of the Indian child and captures the incredible story of Baby Roona Begum - an 18 month old girl born in a neglected corner of north-eastern India.

Roona suffers from Hydrocephalus, a birth defect caused by a build-up of fluid in the brain leading to massive swelling of the head. Her parents Abdul and Fatema lead a hand-to-mouth existence. Roona’s mother says “I don’t want any one to suffer like we did. This story needs to be told.”

Rooting for Roona is a film about struggle, survival and hope; a call to action to invest in the future of the most important part of our world – the Child.

Abdul is an illiterate labourer earning 150 rupees a day (less than $ 3). Unable to afford expensive healthcare outside, they had almost given up hope after being turned away by doctors within their state.

Thanks to the collective intervention of the Indian media who brought her story to light, a private hospital in Delhi, a Norwegian NGO that helped raise money for her treatment, and the support of the royal family of Tripura, Roona was finally able to get the care she needs. In a time when we are constantly reminded that we live in a de-sensitized society, the very opposite was unravelling in the most unexpected of places.

We set out to document a story of compassion and inclusiveness, which is stilling running its course as Roona walks the road to recovery. However, as we scratched the surface of this inspiring story, we discovered a world of facts and unanswered questions that no one seemed keen to raise. Roona’s condition is a result of an unprepared and irresponsible healthcare system and thousands of children like Roona are born with congenital anomalies every day but ignored because their stories are not deemed ‘sensational’ enough. Roona has won a rare lottery and while the world celebrates her fortune, others like her are sent home to wither in silence.

Rooting for Roona will not only do justice to Roona’s story of hope but also create awareness about how children from underprivileged backgrounds have almost no access to good healthcare in India. We aim to shape public opinion and push for much needed reforms in the child health space. Roona’s mother says, “I don’t want anyone to suffer like we did. This story needs to be told.” And that is exactly what we will do. Rooting for Roona is a story of struggle, survival and hope. It is a call to action that will remind us all to invest in the future of the most important part of our world – the Child.

Status

In production

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Production team