No more secrets: Film-maker creates documentary to raise awareness on ostomy

Stigma is a concept very well known to a society like ours. There have been reports in the past about this. Women in the west have walked the ramp with an ostomy bag. More than anything, this move to fight the stigma has been well portrayed by a young Indian film-maker Anisha Vijayan, who has made a documentary titled ‘No More Secrets’ to crush the stigma

No more secrets: Film-maker creates documentary to raise awareness on ostomy

Anisha Vijayan, a documentary director from Mumbai has made a movie that will be premiered on January 15. The documentary will speak about the stigma attached to ostomy bag and stoma in detail.

What is an ostomy bag?

An ostomy is a surgical procedure wherein a pouching system is a fitted inside the body. It is a prosthetic medical device that provides a means for the collection of waste from a surgically diverted biological system (colon, ileum, bladder) and the creation of a stoma. Pouching systems are most commonly associated with colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies.

“More than 3 lakh Indians live with an ostomy and the number keeps increasing everyday but nobody knows of an existence of this life saving surgery. This lack of awareness leads to the feelings of shame and stigma among ostomates. So it is of utmost importance that the secrecy surrounding life with this surgery is broken,” said Vijayan.

No more secrets: Film-maker creates documentary to raise awareness on ostomy
Anisha Vijayan

She enumerated, “Five years ago, my grandmother got diagnosed with rectal cancer. As the treatments were taking a bad toll on her health, the doctors advised her to go in for an ostomy surgery. It was a question of life and death, so obviously the surgery was agreed to but that was the least of her troubles.”

She explained, life with an ostomy is incredibly difficult. Plus, what makes it worse is that the person with the ostomy (ostomate) imprisons themselves with their constant feelings of shame and they stigmatise themselves.

 No more secrets: Film-maker creates documentary to raise awareness on ostomy

“This is the reason I made this film; to help ostomates understand that they don’t need to live in fear of judgement and how to find confidence in themselves. My film, ‘No More Secrets,’ not only helps ostomates but also helps friends and relatives on how to deal with an ostomate,” said Vijayan.

As a part of the premiere launch on January 15, a proud survivor Parul Mistry will also speak about her journey, on being an ostomate.

Here’s a trailer of the documentary: