Mitraniketan («abode of friends») is the name of a non-government integrated rural development project in Kerala, South India. Situated in a small village in Trivandrum district, it has a school, a health centre, an agriculture and dairy farm, and several industrial workshops, like carpentry, pottery, and printing press.

1976, Mitraniketan, Kerala, potter Sachy blogcolumn

The film evaluates the project -which is heavily dependent on funds from outside-, and draws the conclusion that bad management paralyzes the central idea of Mitraniketan. The production units are on the one hand supposed to be income generating and on the other to provide practical training facilities to the students, but mismanaged as they are they do neither. As a result discontent and frustration among staff-members and employees loom large and Mitraniketan is far from the “abode of friends” it is meant to be.

Technical data:

16mm film / language: Malayalam, English and Dutch / Dutch subtitles / 35 minutes / India 1978

Producer / director: Louk Vreeswijk

The film was made with the support of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Amsterdam

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