Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Starring: Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, Kishori Balal
Swades is a 2004 Indian drama film written, produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. It stars Shah Rukh Khan in the lead role. Swades is inspired by the story of Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, the NRI couple who returned to India and developed the pedal power generator to light remote, off-the-grid village schools.
Mohan Bhargava (Shah Rukh Khan) is an Indian who works as a Global precipitation manager(GPM) at NASA in the United States. Mohan wishes to go to India and bring Kaveri Amma, his childhood nanny, back with him to the US. He takes a few weeks off and travels to India. He goes to the old age home but learns that Kaveri Amma no longer lives there and went to a village named Charanpur a few years ago. Mohan then decides to travel to Charanpur, in Uttar Pradesh.
Upon reaching Charanpur, he meets Kaveri Amma and gets to know that it was Gita (Gayatri Joshi), Mohan’s childhood friend, who had brought Kaveri Amma following her parents’ death to stay with her. Gita runs a school in Charanpur and works hard to improve the living conditions of the villagers through education. However, the village is divided largely by caste and religious beliefs. Gita does not like Mohan’s arrival as she thinks that he will take Kaveri Amma back with him to the US, leaving her and her younger brother Chikku alone. Kaveri Amma tells Mohan that she needs to get Gita married first, and that it is her responsibility. Gita believes in women empowerment and gender equality. This attracts Mohan towards Gita and he too tries to help her by campaigning for education among backward communities and also girls.
Swades talks about the pull of the motherland. It talks about doing something for your own country. Swades is definitely SRK’s finest performance till date.