Wednesday, April 06, 2011
TOKAI (Street Cleaner) Film: You should watch it
It's on YouTube. Has been banned in Kuwait by the Ministry of Information.
Thanks for the heads-up, Ahmed.
From Frankom blog
This film is participating at the Kuwait International Film Retreat (Kuwait Young Film contest-Contest Films A) which would be played at Al-kout mall on April 6th (12pm), 7th (4pm) 8th (6pm).
The film title: TOKAI (Street Cleaner) – Production year: 2007 – Country of origin: Kuwait – Languages: Bengali, Subtitles: English – Film Type: Documentary -Time: 18 min.
TOKAI (street cleaner) is a short documentary that offers a glimpse into the lives of thousands of street cleaners who sweep the streets of Kuwait. In a country of abundance and wealth, these men earn menial salaries, as low as $50 a month and eventually regress into the forgotten inhabitants of the Middle East.
Directed, Edited and produced by:
This is a moving film. You know that it is going on right around you, but this nails it. These companies keep cleaners' passports, so they are in servitude.
I can see how the Ministry of Info would ban it. Human trafficking is something that no one wants to talk about, but it exists in many countries (including the US). The thing is: do something about it.
I'm happy to pay these guys a little extra for doing things like taking my bags to my door or cleaning my entranceway - anything to help.
I would give to homeless people on the street (and fix them a hot meal once in a while) in the US, I do it for street cleaners here. When I make hot coffee in the morning, I bring a cup to the cleaners in my neighborhood (because for some reason, I can never make just one cup.)
So.... here's how you can help.... give directly to street cleaners or give to charities like Operation Hope or the Salvation Army (they do operate discreetly in Kuwait and you can contact them through their international office for support). Donate used clothing. Drive out to Hasawi (from 6th Ring Road, take the exit after 60. Turn left. Go streight.). Find poor people and hand stuff out. It's simple. They're not so hard to find all over the country: they wear yellow suits.
I know I am going to get mail from people saying to beware of street cleaners "they're criminals" etc. etc. There are also people out there saying that these guys make so much money off charity that they can buy their own Mercedes when they get home - yada yada (but not without their passport, right?) Okay fine. You have an opinion and I have my own opinion: God gave me a brain, a heart, and judgement skills: I use them.
By the way, incase anyone out there is wondering: Minimum wage in Kuwait is 60 Kuwaiti Dinars per month. Kuwait has an official 48 hour work week. Kuwait offers a universal healthcare system, but many of the laborers must take time off work to go to a hospital or clinic.