The media was not only introduced to the serial and its team but was also shown the premiere episode live of Zee TV’s new daily soap, “Phir Subah Hogi,” at Mumbai’s Hotel Palm Grove April 17.
The new show is in line with the revamped Zee’s programming motto “Umeed Se Saje Zindagi,” and is about a social evil rampant among the “Bedia” tribal community in the Bundelkhand region of India. They are a tribe known for their beautiful Raai dance. But over the years, this dance form that was originally one of reverence to God turned out to be degrading of woman’s dignity with the ritual of “Sar Dhakaai,” whereby a thakur could acquire any woman dancer he liked and even live with her in the latter’s home.
What’s more, with a legal spouse from the upper caste at home, the thakur could exploit the Bedia woman physically as long as he chose and if a child was born, would never give his name to the offspring, and neither would the woman have a right on his property. The Bedia community is also notorious for the women being the breadwinners of the family, while the men did nothing but idle away!
In entertaining format, “Phir Subah Hogi” traces the journey of Sugni, a young woman from the Bedia tribe, as she decides to break free and lead a dignified life away from this barbarism.
A confident Head of Programming – Fiction Sukesh Motwani said his team would meet the media again a year later for a success party.
“Zee TV has always portrayed issues that are socially relevant. We bring to you a reality that is prevalent and practiced even today. ‘Phir Subah Hogi’ shows that life need not stop because of dark customs and traditions. It’s an inspiring, invigorating and informative way of storytelling that will entertain family audiences,” he said.
To spread awareness about such practices and sensitize the aam junta towards such evil customs, the channel will promote the show heavily online. To engage more and more viewers, especially the youth, the channel plans to start a bloggers’ outreach program wherein they will reach out and speak directly to people who can influence the viewers. The influencers could be celebrities, journalists or activists from NGOs. The next initiative is to create a social movement via open letters and blogs. The channel also intends to create a viral movement that will aim at creating a call for action for the viewers/ users. The channel will gratify every user who lends support to this cause and help spread awareness about this issue.
Produced by Panglosean Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., the show boasts of an ensemble cast with two veteran actors making a return on the small screen — Varun Badola and Narayani Shastri. The show will also star Nimay Bali, Ravindra Mankani, Sikander, Jaya Binju, Jyoti Gauba, Garima Srivastav, Anushree Batla, Rajlaxmi and Ankit Arora in central roles.
Gulki Joshi plays the lead protagonist, Sugni and Anuj Sachdev is Aditya Babu, cast in the lead opposite her. The serial is penned by Mrinal Jha and Raghuvir.
The concept is by Saurabh Srivastava, who hails from the region depicted in the serial and brought the concept to Zee, aided by an audiovisual of real happenings in the region. “It touched my heart,” said Motwani. “This was a big story, so the script took a long while to develop.”
Said Narayani Shashtri, who plays Gulabia, Sugni’s mother, “When I first heard the narrative, it was so gripping that I jumped at the opportunity of playing the role of Gulabia. It’s a story of finding hope under testing situations. Also, after doing ‘Piya Ka Ghar’ and ‘Mamta’ on Zee earlier, this feels like homecoming.”
Said Varun Badola, “I started my career with Zee, and I always look forward to work with it as it has given me some of my biggest hits. I was mesmerized after reading the concept of the show and consider myself very lucky to have bagged it.”