An educative film ‘Ek Naya Din’ on epilepsy awareness will be screened during the 11th European Congress on Epileptology to be held in Stockholm, Sweden, from June 28 to July 3.
The film has been conceptualized by VN Mishra, head of the department of neurology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University. It is based on a real life story of a patient suffering with epilepsy and has been widely screened at schools and colleges of the north India. The IMS director Prof Rana Gopal Singh released its first edition with the English subtitles on Wednesday.
Mishra said the film so far had been screened widely in 20 states of the country and many other countries of the world. The International Journal of Medical Science and Clinical Invention, in its latest issue highlighted the impact of the film on epilepsy patients. Mishra said myth and misconceptions regarding management of epilepsy have been prevalent throughout the world and it is still thought to be linked with evil spirit possession by some.
Spiritual rituals and religious healing are still commonly believed to be effective treatments for the problem, he said.
The 63-minute educative film highlights the most basic issues relating to epilepsy management like importance of drug intake, taking care of the patient during the time of attack and importance of family care.
According to him, a study was conducted 2,453 patients in 323 film shows in various parts of northern India. They were of evenly distributed age group, with maximum in 14 – 22 years age (72%). Around 82% of the total patients were educated. All of them were given questionnaire based on l3 different issues regarding epilepsy, before and after the film show. A total of 2012 patients (84%) accepted that myths and misconceptions were busted regarding epilepsy while 73% said that the film made an important impact in giving message that epileptics should be treated, and not hated.
The film is based on the story of a young girl born in a traditional north Indian joint family and is suffering from epileptic seizures from the age of six. Her parents take her to a doctor but her grandparents think that she is possessed by some evil spirit which is causing the seizures, so they call a witchcraft practitioner that aggravates the problem of the girl.
The girl’s classmates also mock at her, but with the efforts of her mother gradually teachers and her fellow students realise her medical condition and start supporting the brave girl.