My Indian Diary – The Women of the Banyan Tree

Like a Banyan tree. Women are connected. Their supple branches change society.

Documentary / India, Japan / 2016 / 206 minutes (Screening version: 100 minutes) / HD Video / Colour

Yumiko Hayakawa



This is a two week video diary of my first trip to India in 2015. I travelled to India to attend the IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival. Although I bought a travel guidebook, I happened to visit the least tourist populated sites such as the farmers’ protest, the workers’ hunger strike and the homeless shelter. I captured some aspects of real life in Delhi.

During my trip, I flew to Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and visited SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association). It’s a trade union of poor, self-employed female workers. Having two million members in India, they organise more than 100 cooperative businesses including banks, insurance companies, child care centres and they even own a video production and radio station. The film introduces the SEWA’s philosophy and their practices through interviews with the SEWA Academy director and the Video SEWA members.

After coming back from Ahmedabad, I attended the IAWRT film festival. During the three day festival, films made by female directors of Asian origin were shown. I got along particularly well with directors from India, Iran, and Myanmar. Filming them in casual conversations and in interviews, the film tells us how these female directors keep producing films under the most extremely difficult conditions.

You will be inspired by these powerful and imaginative women!

※ The original version of this film is 206 minutes, but the screening version (100 minutes) is also available upon request.



  • Main characters

    Uma Tanuku
    Namrata Bali
    Ela Bhatt
    Leela Dantani
    Daxa Mehta
    Manjula Raval
    Aruna Haribhai Parmar
    Beena Raval
    Kanta Haribhai Parmar
    Hiral Kamleshbhai Parmar
    Kalpana Kamleshbhai Parmar
    Nikhil Kamleshbhai Parmar
    Jeenil Dipakbhai Parmar
    Thet Su Hlaing
    Ratika Singh
    Sahar Salahshoor
    Ranjitha Rajeevan
    Anupama Srinivasan
    Jharana Jhaveri

  • Director/filming

    Yumiko Hayakawa

  • Additional filming

    Aruna Haribhai Parmar
    Sahar Salahshoor

  • Films

    "Manek Chowk"
    "Invisible Workers"
    "My Work My Life"
    Video SEWA

    "Profession: Documentarist"
    Shirin Barghnavard
    Firouzeh Khosrovani
    Farahnaz Sharifi
    Mina Keshavarz
    Sepideh Abtahi
    Sahar Salahshoor
    Nahid Rezaei

    Sahar Salahshoor

    Ranjitha Rajeevan

    "My Stealthy Freedom"
    Masih Alinejad

    "Charlie & the CocaCola Company: Quit India"
    Jharana Jhaveri
    Anurag Singh

  • Music

    "Hun Amdavad No Riksha Valo"
    "Ek Lal Darvaje"
    Rudi no Radio

  • Gujarati translation

    Prayas Abhinav
    Tanmay Shah

  • English translation

    Yumiko Hayakawa
    Paul Wright

  • Narration studio recording

    Shiina Omura (Homura Sound)

  • DVD jacket design

    Yoshiki Tomita

  • Special thanks

    IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival
    Japan Foundation New Delhi
    SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association)
    SEWA Academy
    Video SEWA
    Rudi no Radio
    Embassy of India, Tokyo



  • Mitaka Peace Film Festival (2016)