For those who learn to overcome their fears, freedom beckons. Bringing alive this emotion of freedom, Colors announces the launch of Udānn – the tale of Chakor, a free-spirited young girl whose existence is pawned by her helpless and poverty-stricken desperate family when in her mother’s womb, as collateral for money. Through Udānn, Colors brings a heartwarming story addressing the social issue of bonded labour, widely prevalent in the world even in the 21st century.
Conceptualized by ace director Mahesh Bhatt, Udānn marks the journey of 7-year-old Chakor as she rises like a phoenix towards her dreams to showcase a mind without fear. Produced by Dhaval Jayantilal Gada and Guroudev Bhalla Productions Pvt. Ltd., the show has been written by award-winning writers Robin Bhatt and Javed Siddiqui. Udānn is all set to sear through our hearts starting 18 August, 2014 and will air every Monday to Saturday at 8.30 PM on Colors.
Commenting on the show, Raj Nayak, CEO – Colors said, “We at Colors have always taken the baton on creating awareness on social issues since the channel first launched 6 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 the 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, realization, hope, freedom and achievement.”
Set against the rustic backdrop in the hinterland of Uttar Pradesh where bonded labor is dominant, Udānn is an honest rendition of life and society. Bringing to light the innocence of a young but sharp-minded child, Chakor whose unhindered 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, creative genius and ace director 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.”
Adding to this, Prashant Bhatt, Weekday Programming Head – Colors said, “Social issues like bonded labor is widely prevalent even in 21st century urbanized India and needs to be brought to 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. In Chakor’s story that represents the unrealized hopes of countless Indians, suppressed by this barbaric practice of bonded-labor, viewers are sure to find an inspiring story of hope and resilience.”
Producers for the show 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 labor to ensure realistic representation. In our endeavor to bring alive a true to life story we have maintained an authenticity in treatment ensuring relatability across all aspects including visual conceptualization, scale and narrative. Beautifully conceptualized by Mahesh Bhatt and written by Robin Bhatt and Javed Siddiqui, Udānn is a true labor of love.”
Through Udānn, Colors celebrates the strength of a girl who is free spirited, forward thinking and has a positive outlook towards life as she emerges stronger when faced with trials and tribulations. The show features relatable characters that bring to life the struggles of bonded laborers and the nature of their relationship with different pivotal characters in the show.
Udānn brings together power-packed performances by a strong ensemble cast who will be instrumental in the life of lead actor Chakor (Spandan Chaturvedi). The initial episodes of the show will focus on Chakor’s relationship with her warmhearted 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 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 labor.