posted by Rushi Raj, last updated on August 18th, 2014 at 10:44 am
For those who learn to overcome their fears, freedom beckons. Bringing alive this emotion of freedom, Colors announced in Delhi yesterday the launch of Udānn, the tale of Chakor, a free-spirited young girl whose life is pawned by her poverty-stricken family when she is still in her mother’s womb – as collateral for money.
The heart-rending story which addresses the social issue of bonded labour, widely prevalent in the world even in the 21st century, premieres on August 18, 2014 in the 8.30 PM primetime slot. Udānn replaces Madhubala.
Conceptualised by director Mahesh Bhatt, Udānn marks the journey of seven-year-old Chakor who has a mind without fear and is full of dreams. Produced by Dhaval Jayantilal Gada and Guroudev Bhalla Productions, the show has been written by award-winning writers Robin Bhatt and Javed Siddiqui.
Commenting on Mahesh Bhatt’s involvement in Udānn, Raj Nayak, CEO of Colors, said, “We at Colors have always picked up the baton in creating awareness on social issues since the channel launched six years back. The various issues we have addressed through our shows have since become a voice of change which has positively influenced audiences across the country. Udānn is our newest attempt to highlight issues and practices which continue to plague our country even today. Through Chakor, our young protagonist, we are looking forward to create awareness about bonded labour and its implications on society and the lives of those who have been affected by it. We hope that the audiences will join Chakor on her journey from innocence, realisation and hope to freedom and achievement.”
Set against the rustic backdrop in the hinterland of Uttar Pradesh where bonded labour is dominant, Udānn is an honest reflection of life and society. Chakor zest for life strengthens when faced with challenges at the hands of the Rajvanshi family headed by the zamindar Kamalnarayan. Her story celebrates the spirit of survival and hope.
Caught between the social divide of the rich and the poor, the resilient story of Chakor takes flight amidst a restrained childhood with her parents Kasturi and Bhuvan, and growing up in a zamindar’s household she has been pledged into. A political representative ironically entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding the interest of the downtrodden, the zamindar and with his wife make Chakor the village’s sole child bonded laborer. Unaware of the circumstances which have led to her being wagered, Chakor experiences a gamut of emotions as she struggles to take wings and find her rightful place under the sun.
Speaking about the concept of Udānn, Mahesh Bhatt said, “Nothing communicates better than the truth. Through Udānn, we hope to create an advocacy for the liberation of women as they fight against injustice. Chakor is a young girl who wants to fly even though she has been mortgaged while she was still in her mother’s womb. She finds herself pitted against the entire world as she stands tall against a practice which cripples human aspirations.”
Prashant Bhatt, Weekday Programming Head at Colors, said, “Social issues like bonded labour is widely prevalent even in 21st century urbanised India and need to be brought to the fore and fought against. Udānn narrates a tale about the life of Chakor who has a strong survival instinct which keeps her sailing through the toughest situations. Her rebellious yet endearing nature proves that simplicity and innocence together will make for an attractive viewing proposition for audiences. Chakor’s story represents the unrealised hopes of countless Indians suppressed by the barbaric practice of bonded labour. Viewers are sure to find an inspiring story of hope and resilience.”
Producers Dhaval Jayantilal Gada and Guroudev Bhalla said, “Telling a story like Udānn requires a lot of heart, courage and conviction. A lot of research has gone into ensuring that the story is told in the right spirit and we have worked closely with NGOs fighting against bonded labour to ensure realistic representation. In our endeavour to bring alive a true to life story, we have maintained an authenticity in treatment ensuring relatability across all aspects including visual conceptualisation, scale and narrative. Udānn is a true labor of love.”
Udānn brings a strong ensemble cast who will be instrumental in the life of Chakor (Spandan Chaturvedi). The initial episodes of the show will focus on Chakor’s relationship with her warm-hearted mother Kasturi (Sai Deodhar-Anand), her weak and under-confident father Bhuvan (Rajiv Kumar), and her strong-willed younger sister and playmate Imli (Tasheen Shah). As Chakor’s life reaches the crossroads at the tender age of 7, she moves into the home of the cruel and short-tempered zamindar Kamalnarayan Singh (Sai Ballal) and his shrewd authoritarian wife Rajnandini Singh (Prachee Pathak). Here she finds solace in Shakuntala Singh (Suhasini Mulay), the zamindar’s mother and a strict follower of Gandhian principles. As the story progresses, Chakor will undertake a journey that will change not only her life but also challenge the concept of bonded labour.
Udānn is another path-breaking show and Colors will leave no stone unturned to ensure that Udānn achieves widespread reach across India. The show will see a robust high-decibel 360 degree nationwide marketing campaign that will leverage all mediums like outdoor, on-air, radio and digital.