From Poverty to Possibility, “Daughters of Destiny: The Story of Shanti Bhavan” Breaks the Caste Mold

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24 July 2017
Daughters of Destiny: The Story of Shanti Bhavan
Courtesy of Netflix
“Daughters of Destiny: The Story of Shanti Bhavan”
Premieres Friday, July 28 on Netflix

          Daughters of Destiny is a 4-part Netflix original documentary series that chronicles the lives of five girls from Indian families who are among the so-called “Dalit” caste and most impoverished communities in the world. The series witnesses the girls grow up (ranging in age from 7 to 23 over the course of the 4 episodes) while they are raised at ShantiBhavan, a unique co-ed residential school in Tamil Nadu. The expectation for these girls and all the children who attend Shanti Bhavan is that they must grow up to support themselves, lift their families and communities out of poverty and contribute to the larger world.

          This school doesn’t just provide their students with a proper education but acts as an agent for social change influencing their social behavior, their morals, goals and philosophy in life. Coming from the country’s lowest social and economic class in India, the school helps the children  to not look at class as a determining factor but to focus on what they want out of life. SB’s graduates are working full-time at companies like Amazon, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Mercedes Benz, and many more. 

          Directed by Academy Award® winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth (Freeheld, Best Documentary Short, 2007), the series highlights the struggle of students as they strive to define themselves, re-define gender and class and create a new future for the generations that will come after them. The strength and power of the girls’ own storytelling and dramatic experiences over the 7 years of filming from the gates of ShantiBhav, into their homes brings viewers through their stories of family, love, loss, hard work and courage. An original music score by Academy Award® and Emmy winning composer A.R Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire, 2008), punctuates this emotional journey.

         The series will be released in 100 countries in 30 different languages. With the current success of the school, Shanti Bhavan is looking to expand and build a second school in India. 
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