UK surgeon turns filmmaker with poignant environment message in ‘Wheels of Civilization’

UK surgeon turns filmmaker with poignant environment message in ‘Wheels of Civilization’

Dr Rajinder Singh is a transplant surgeon from the Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In this guest column for iGlobal, he shares his experience of debuting as a producer and director for his new film ‘Wheels of Civilization’ and his inspiration behind it.

While doing kidney and pancreas transplants in NHS, or conducting ward rounds, one thing which constantly hit me hard was the amount of plastic load that was binned per procedure or patient encounter. The roads and fields are otherwise clean in the western world. In contrast, back home in India, there is a large amount of plastic strewn on the roadsides. In addition, the Western nations often dump their plastic waste into landfills leased from developing countries.

Our age increasingly faces the menace of plastic and pesticide pollution which does not only contribute towards environmental damage but also towards health issues such as cancer. And this is why I set out to make this film to raise awareness about the impending doom unless we mend our ways because raising awareness is also a form of preventive medicine.

In this project, I was helped by another doctor, Dr Davine Kaur, from London and few childhood friends. The ‘Wheels of Civilization’ shows a few British doctors going to work in tribal belts of India and interacting with primitive tribals who are more eco conscious compared to modern civilisation. The premise explores what primitive societies and cultures can teach us about living in harmony with the environment and, simultaneously, what the modern civilisation has something to offer to the primitive tribals: the benefits of modern medicine. The message is that the world needs a balance between the modern and the traditional.


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In this journey, we also faced many challenges. Many due to our inexperience. But with the support of a sound technical team, and the efforts of our main lead, Raja from Bhubaneswar, we were able to accomplish the task. The film was formally released in Vue Cinemas across UK, and has received excellent critics reviews and response, and has been lauded for exceptional storyline and message, soulful music by my wife Dr Kapilmeet Kaur and Bishnu Mohan Kabi, a talented musician from Odisha, and breathtaking scenery of Odisha.

We are planning for worldwide release of the film in the coming few months as well as showcasing it in prestigious film festivals.

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