Mera Haq - Part 1
Told through the untimely death of Shanti Devi, Mera Haq reveals the daily toils of surviving pregnancy for society's most vulnerable and marginalized. The film recounts Shanti's journey to maternal death, a journey tragically representative of the systemic barriers that hundreds of thousands of women encounter in accessing basic medical care. Through interviews and photographs with family and friends, and internationally recognized legal and health experts, Mera Haq unveils the Indian government's failure to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of its people. Despite rapid economic growth and panoply of laws mandating access to reproductive health services, India consistently has the highest incidence of maternal death worldwide, currently carrying 20% of the global burden. Refusing to accept delay and denial of medical treatment as a foregone outcome for the lives of the poor, Shanti's family turned to the courts. They sought accountability and a restoration of dignity, and in December 2008 filed Laxmi Mandal v. Deen Dayal Harinagar Hospital & ORS, W.P.(C) 8853/2008. In a groundbreaking judgment, the government was ordered to pay compensation for Shanti's preventable death, and for the first time in history, maternal mortality was recognized as a human rights violation. Mera Haq pays tribute to the tireless spirit of Shanti's family and community members, and illustrates litigation as a powerful tool for advancement of social change and government accountability.