A documentary film I produced that tells the story of how girls at the Gandhi Leprosy Seva Sangh, a leprosy community in India, are pursuing their education and not yielding to the pressure to marry young and become housewives.
Aruna grew up in a poor leprosy community in India and, like so many other girls growing up in the harsh reality of a slum, did not believe in her dreams or that much good would come from her life, other than a prescribed arranged marriage.
That was, until, she met Jayesh Patel, co-founder of Manav Sadhna (an NGO based on the Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram in Ahmedabad), who recognized and helped nurture her potential that few others were able or willing to see.
Jayeshbhai, through loving and fatherly encouragement, inspired Aruna to be the change and take her education and life more seriously. As a result, she is now one of a handful of young women — the first in the community's history since 1968 — who have successfully graduated from college, who work to better the community, and who have ended up profoundly altering the path for girls growing up in the Gandhi Leprosy Seva Sangh.
Seeds is a story of uncommon change, told from the heart.
Ellie Walton, Director
Christopher Lowman, Producer
Samara Kumar, Sound Producer & Translation
Sateen Sheth, Translation
Vivek Chopra, Translation
Praise for Seeds
"This film brought me to tears." — Shannon
"This film is so very beautiful in every way." — Nancy
"This story just touches my heart." — Harpreet
"Aruna represents the growing aspirations of the young in India who want to change their lives irrespective of where they come from." — Deepak
"Aruna shows that through love all things are possible." — Don
"I felt compelled to do just as Aruna did and take the journey to become friends with myself; I want to blossom as she did and share it generously as she now does. Seeds was a gentle awakening!"— Cindy
"Aruna is like a small pebble thrown into a big pond and the waves of her actions are changing the perspective of everyone around her." —Mindy
"I thank all the people in the video for reminding us what community is all about!" — Towanda