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Onir announces his next film on human trafficking with UNODC
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5 October 2007
By Joginder Tuteja
Since the release of Bas Ek Pal, filmmaker Onir has been involved in conceptualization of number of projects with My Brother's Bride and remake of Chashme Baddoor being the fore runners.
While his ambitious project You and I, which was touted to be Karisma Kapoor's comeback film, has been put on hold, Onir has started work on his next film which deals with Human Trafficking. The film will be produced by Siddhi Vinayak Creations while UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) would be the knowledge partners for the film.
"The interest in the subject started from an article about the use of Child Jockey in the camel race", says Onir when questioned about his motivation for doing the film. "The more I did the research, the more horrified I was at the atrocities."
He surely must have heard of human trafficking earlier as well, isn't it so? "I am not denying that. In fact it will be untrue to say that I was not aware of human trafficking, but sometimes something moves you deep inside and propels you into action. That is what happened."
Rattling down some statistics, Onir says, "I was shocked when I got to know about the numbers. Do you know that illicit trade in humans is valued at an estimated $32 billion? Also, according to UN estimates, 600,000 - 800,000 individuals are trafficked across international borders each year? While South Asia is home to the second largest population of these internationally trafficked persons, India itself is a country of origin, transit and destination."
"I realized that it was happening in different form all around and something needs to be done. What better medium than cinema to bring the issue forward?" questions My Brother Nikhil director.
What was his line of action when he finally decided to take the plunge? Replied Onir, "I immediately got in touch with Mr. Ansar Burney who was responsible in a major way for doing hidden camera operations. He had exposed the racket to the world and finally got the use of Child Jockey officially banned in the Middle East. It was inspirational just to be interacting with him. Next I am participating in the conference called 'Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking in South Asia' this month. This is being held in Delhi and is again hosted by UNODC."
Since the film is topical, Onir is leaving no stones unturned to get the right minds working on the research for the film. He is being joined by writers Aftab Alam and Ajay Mongiar. The film's script will be ready in another three months after which the casting and shooting dates would be decided.