Cast Shahid Kapur, Ayesha Takia, Nana Patekar, Sushant Singh, Ali Haji, Shraddha Arya
Director Milind Ukey
Teaching is a noble profession. But does it hold true today? Hasn't education succumbed to modernization as everything else, which is ruled by commercialization and consumerism in this age of rat race? We read in the newspapers about students being bogged down under study pressures, parents burdened with fees hikes, teachers punishing students inhumanly, some students even dying in such cases or some committing suicides… what state of affairs have we brought our education system to? Paathshala tries to answer many such questions related to the sanctity of today's education system. It sheds light on the shortcomings and wrong doings in today's schools where the high morals and basic ethics associated with the teaching profession seem to have taken a back seat. It's shameful that even schooling has fallen prey to the pressures of competition and the vices of money making mantra. Paathshala attempts to challenge such notions that threaten our children's future and thus our society. The story begins with a new English Teacher Rahul Prakash Udyavar (Shahid Kapoor) joining Swaraswati Vidya Mandir school, situated in the outskirts of Mumbai Suburbs. Though he strikes instant rapport with students and teachers alike, he realizes that there is something amiss in the school. Slowly his doubts prove true as the School Manager Sharma (Saurbh Shukla) makes many monetary obligations compulsory on the parents in the name of extracurricular activities. He goes to the extent of punishing the students inhumanly when the new unjustified demands of the school are not fulfilled by the parents. When Rahul Udyawar unifies the teachers (Ayesha Takia, Sushant Singh, Kurush Deboo) against the atrocities of school management, the Principal Aditya Sahay (Nana Patekar) defends the management decision. This comes as a shocker to the teachers as Mr. Sahay is known for his dedication as an educationist for last 32 years which has built the school's high reputation. The situation becomes graver as school management becomes overambitious with its growth and involves media planners in the extracurricular activities. This demands the involvement of students in TV reality shows and many other media PR activities used for building up the school image in public which starts reflecting on the students' stress levels. The pressure on young minds increases incredibly leading to unexpected and grim consequences. Caught in the web of commercialization and internal rebellion, the school's situation becomes so explosive that it finally becomes a national issue. Paathshala challenges the increasing immoralities and unethical practices in our education system. It analyses intricately the relationship between students, teachers and the education system with sensitivity and sensibility… It reflects the true spirit of an education system. PAATHSHALA An Urgent and Desperate eye opening Mission for our Education System today.