Chennai, February 8 (COIN) Director Venky Atluri, whose upcoming bilingual film ‘Vaathi’ features Dhanush and Samyuktha in the lead, says his film will not just stop with highlighting the problems plaguing the education system in the country but will also offer solutions to those problems.
The film, which is gearing up to release as ‘Sir’ in Telugu on February 17 this year, has been produced by Nagavamsi S and Sai Soujanya for Sithara Entertainments and Fortune Four Cinemas.
Speaking to Cineobserver.in, Venky Atluri says, “I got the spark for this story during the lockdown in 2020. Then, everything was shut and all of us had to stay home. Students could not attend school and had to attend online classes. However, schools, instead of cutting down on the fees, hiked it.
“They continued to impose bus fares as part of the fee structure even when school buses were not plying because of the lockdown. A couple of incidents that happened in the Telugu speaking states then was how I got the idea for this story.”
Venky, who completed his schooling in the late nineties, says the story of ‘Vaathi’/’Sir’ is set in the between 1997 and 2000.
Ask him if whether a story set almost two decades ago will be valid now and he replies with a laugh, “Nothing has changed from then till now. The story, although set in the late nineties, will very much work even now.”
It is evident that director Venky Atluri is disturbed by the fact that education has been turned into a flourishing business by some greedy businessmen, who in the process, have made it an expensive commodity out of the reach of the poor and the underprivileged.
“In the late nineties, when IT companies and multi-specialty hospitals started to arrive on the scene, the government increased the number of engineering and medical colleges. Some people started taking advantage of this development and coaching centres and private coaching classes sprouted everywhere. Subsequently, the fees of schools and colleges also increased tremendously.
“Education in India is supposed to be non-profitable. How many of us know this fact? Sadly though, some have made it into a flourishing business. They have managed to do this by exploiting the loopholes in the system, first creating a foundation and then using it as a facade to run their education business.
“Parents want to give quality education to their children. So even parents, who can’t afford the high fees, enroll their children in private schools in the belief that their children will get good education if they pay more.
“While on the one hand, the enrolment in private institutions is high, enrolment in government schools is coming down. This is not because government school teachers are not competent. The main cause for this is that the teachers are not paid properly.”
The director also discloses that the Tamil version of the film will be slightly different from that of the Telugu version.
“The difference is because the school education system being followed in Tamil Nadu is different from the system being followed in the Telugu states. While here, you have the primary, middle and higher secondary format, we have the intermediate format there. Therefore, there will be a slightly different version. In fact, the Tamil version will be two minutes longer than the Telugu version.”
The film, apart from Dhanush and Samyuktha, also stars Bharathiraja, Saikumar, Tanikella Bharani, Samuthirakani, Thodapalli Madhu, Nara Srinivas, Bhammi Sai, Hyper Adi, Sha Ra, Ken Karunaas, Aadukalam Naren, Ilavarasu, Motta Rajendran, Hareesh Peradi and Praveena among others.
Music for the film has been composed by GV Prakash.