Dharan is a story of friendship between a six-year-old urban girl and an eight-year-old rural boy. Inquisitive Charcha, travels to a village near Satara district in western Maharashtra with her father on his official tour. Her father is a water resources officer who has arrived to inspect a water dam site. They settle in a circuit house.
In the hour of load shading at night, Charcha walks out of her room in search of her father – wearing a white nightdress, holding a candle in her hand. She bumps into Panya, a shy rural boy who is a nephew of the caretakers at circuit house.
He confuses her for an evil spirit and runs away in fear leaving Charcha mind boggled. Although Panya realizes, she is no ghost by their second encounter, the running away continues. It adds to Charcha’s loneliness who’s already unable to function without her mother. She breaks down. Panya realizes his mistake. In the guilt of his ignorant behavior, Panya apologizes to her and after some gifts, with lots of persistence – They become friends.
Their friendship is flowering in the backdrop of protest existent in the village against the proposed dam. When Panya takes Charcha to his home to show around, his mother learns whose daughter she is. The dam being sanctioned by Charcha’s father will put Panya’s house and property into the water catchment.
This leads to an interpersonal conflict as well as social conflict within them. In their own simple world – How do they solve the problem of this magnitude with their compassion and empathy?