This Raksha Bandhan, what do superstar Amitabh Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhatt, Freida Pinto, Nandita Das, Sushmita Sen and Parineeti Chopra have in common? They’ve come together to urge television viewers across India’s leading Hindi GEC, Star Plus, to celebrate women’s empowerment through education.
For which leading Hindi GEC Star Plus is bringing very different, thought-provoking and uplifting content for its viewers on Raksha Bandhan. That that galaxy of a star cast has contributed to Star Plus’s Raksha Bandhan day centerpiece, Girl Rising – Woh Padhegi, Woh Udegi, which is the Hindi version of the ground-breaking film by Academy Award nominee Richard E. Robbins.
The Hindi version airs on Saturday, 29 August, 1.30 pm on Star Plus. Both, the English and Hindi versions of the 2-hour film, will be available on digital platform hotstar.
The film, made in 2013, tells the stories of eight girls from eight countries — Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Peru and Sierra Leone — and their fight to overcome impossible odds to realize their dreams.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has chosen the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan to broadcast the film asking families to not only protect the daughters but to also promote their education: Maneka Gandhi
In fact, the entire concept of the film has received tremendous support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Ministry Of Women and Child Development’s literacy campaign, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is collaborating with the telecast on Star Plus.
We believe that the happiness of a nation depends on how we treat our daughters… Star India will be appealing to people to empower the nation’s girls by increasing public attention, raising awareness, and engagement and eliminating gender disparity: Uday Shankar – CEO Star India
Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister of Women and Child Development has said, “I am very happy about the collaboration between the ministry’s ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign and Girl Rising. The child sex ratio in India is a matter of concern for all of us. Time has come to initiate more interventions and consolidate our efforts to secure the future of our girls.
“Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji has chosen the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan to broadcast the film asking families to not only protect the daughters but to also promote their education,” Gandhi said.
The film will air on 29 August at 1.30 pm. While the Hindi version will air on Star Plus, both, the English and the Hindi versions of the 2-hour film, will be available on the leading digital platform, hotstar.
Superstar Amitabh Bachchan has provided voice narration for the 2-hour film which features leading actors like Priyanka Chopra, Freida Pinto, Nandita Das, Madhuri Dixit, Sushmita Sen, Alia Bhatt, Parineeti Chopra and Kareena Kapoor. Both Priyanka and Freida are also producers and ambassadors for Girl Rising.
The film comes in the wake of some other very thoughtful insurance offerings that the government has announced which will enable brothers to gift social security schemes the Suraksha Bima Yojana and the Jeevan Jyoti Yojana to their sisters on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.
So, instead of a run-of-the-mill ‘Rakhi-special’ feature films festival on Raksha Bandhan, here’s the far more meaningful Girl Rising – Woh Padhegi, Woh Udegi, which revolves around the theme of Women Empowerment. The significant emotional and financial investment in this film are proof of how seriously the network takes its mission of leading Societal Change in India.
As Star India CEO Uday Shankar says, “Star Plus has constantly worked to redefine the role of Television as an agent of social change. Our aspirational content has especially resonated with the women of this country and has influenced their changing role in society. On this Raksha Bandhan, Star Plus will be presenting Girl Rising – Woh Padegi, Woh Udegi, a ground-breaking film designed to inspire a billion imaginations. We believe that the happiness of a nation depends on how we treat our daughters.”
Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt, Acting Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) says, “Every day, girls are changing the world. An educated girl has a positive ripple effect on her health, family, community and society as a whole. That is why USAID is committed to girl’s education in India and around the world. This exciting partnership reflects a new model for development–a powerful collaboration of governments, the private sector, civil society and media lending their voices, talents and resources to promote a more inclusive and prosperous India by educating and empowering girls.”
It may be recalled that in end-November 2014, the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) had announced support to a public-private partnership in India for “Girl Rising,” a global campaign to promote girls’ education. USAID had previously announced $3 million to support the program worldwide.
The Girl Rising: ENGAGE INDIA (Empowering New Generations to Advance Girls’ Education) program will work to raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviors relating to girls’ education through local language releases of the powerful feature film “Girl Rising.” This partnership will reach millions worldwide and include teaching materials that highlight the stories of nine girls born into difficult circumstances in nine different countries around the world.
“The Girl Rising campaign in India starts with the film, but the story is much longer and only just beginning. With the Girl Rising Action Campaign for Education we are bringing the talent and resources of India’s brightest stars and most dynamic firms to bear on this issue,” said Ambassador Stephens, who had announced the partnership at the American Center.
And now let’s cut back to the present. Here’s what the stars associated with the film have to say:
Priyanka Chopra: “We’ve all come together to narrate real life stories that highlight the amazing, positive impact that education can have on young girls. We believe that storytelling is a powerful way to inspire people and also to empower them to take action. I’m grateful to the Star TV Network for joining hands with us to take this film and its important messages into millions of homes across the country.
“We are also very humbled and thankful to have the support of the Honorable Prime Minister and the remarkable Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. Together, I know we can all make a difference in getting closer to our objective of ensuring that all girls get through secondary school. Every girl has the right to education and the more girls we educate the more our country stands to gain.”
Freida Pinto: “There couldn’t be a more appropriate day to bring to every Indian a movement that is so crucial in changing the way we perceive the role of girls and raise our boys in our country.
“As a producer of Girl Rising India, I was very honoured to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June to talk about Girl Rising and he not only embraced the idea but also suggested that we launch it on Raksha Bandhan. We are very pleased to have join hands with the Prime Minister, Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign and… Star.”
The film is the centerpiece of Girl Rising’s national campaign for girls’ education and empowerment that uses the power of storytelling to raise awareness and ignite people to take action.
Definitely worth a watch. Here’s the official trailer to the English version.