Central students awarded for refugee video in the United Nations Plural Plus Video Competition


Hersh Pathak

On Nov. 19 juniors Hersh Pathak and Hayaa Chhaya will receive two awards for their video on refugees after winning at the United Nations Plural Plus Video Competition

Maggie Dalton and Thom Blair

With an interest in global issues, Juniors Hersh Pathak and Hayaa Chhaya created a video about the struggles refugees face. On Nov. 19, the two students will be receiving two awards together.
Pathak and Chhaya created a video to enter into the United Nations Plural Plus Video Competition. Pathak and Chhaya won two different awards for their video: the PLURAL+Global Kids for Kids 2018 and PLURAL+FERA  Lucero 2018 award. They will receive their awards in New York City.
“It’s about the social ordeal refugees face every day,” Pathak said.
In the video, directed by Pathak, Chhaya acts as a character who’s a refugee. She talks about the struggles that refugees go through in not only their old country but their new country as well. Her character also deals with the labels and misconceptions placed on her by society.
“We were really interested in global issues, and we thought this was a good opportunity,” Pathak said.
Chhaya and Pathak wanted to make the video to disprove refugee stereotypes.
“The whole purpose of the video was to show that there are facts to prove these [assumptions] are not true,” Pathak said.
In the video, Chhaya lists off struggles that refugees go through that don’t have to do with society either.
“It’s hard not knowing where you are going to sleep at night, not knowing where your next meal will come from, knowing that you’ll have to leave your home, leave all your friends,”  Chhaya says in the video.
The video is also a motivational message to refugees telling them to not accept the labels society places on them.
“You are not who they say you are… You want to be safe and happy, just like everyone else,” Chhaya says later in the video. “You are human, not the label that everyone throws at you.”
Chhaya gives kind advice on how refugees should be treated.
“People from worse stricken countries already go through enough every day, facing dangers in their lives… so when they come to a country be nice, and be fair to them because you don’t know what kind of struggles they’ve been through,” Chhaya said.
Pathak and Chhaya’s hope their video will call for a need of compassion between people. The video addresses the false labels placed on refugees and hopes to show change can be made by taking labels, meant to insult or hurt others, out of the picture.