MHA turns TV producer for promoting NE

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is turning a TV producer to bring the everyday life in the otherwise unchartered north-east in national television.

The MHA has already commissioned a 13-episode programme, with each telling the success stories like the all-girls band Hurricane Girls and family planning campaigner Ilyas Ali.

The programme will start rolling out in the second week of June in Doordarshan and if successful, the North-East Division in MHA may look at the possibility of extending it to 26 or 52 episodes. The MHA is also looking at the possibility of airing this programme in private channels.

“Many people are not aware of the success stories in north east. This programme tries to tell how these people are changing the life in the region,” a senior MHA official told DH.

This programme is believed to go a long way in making a change in the attitude of people in other parts of the country towards those from the north-east, who sometimes face problems from locals.

It would also give a sneak-peak into the life in north-east though primarily it is talking about individual success stories.

One of the most anticipated episode would be that of 23-year-old Dipa Karmakar from Tripura, the first Indian woman gymnast to seal an olympic berth. The episode is planned to be aired just before Olympics starts in Brazil’s Rio de Genero in August.

The MHA is also planning episodes on boxers Shiva Thapa and Mary Kom, the official said.

One of the episodes have Hurricane Girls, the all-girl band from Guwahati, in which one of the band members talk about their experience of their first programme. The band member was promised Rs 2,000 but she did not even get that from the organisers. The eposide tells how they now have grown into a band which gets a couple of lakhs for their programme.

Another would talk about how Meghali Bora’s efforts to train women taxi drivers have helped them. The government doctor Ali’s experiences in persuading rural Muslims to do family planning also find space in an episode.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Jun 5, 2016)

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