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Calling attention, please! `Galati Kiski'

RANA A. SIDDIQUI speaks to Kiran and Saina Bedi, the mother-daughter duo, now trying to "sensitise" people through "Galati Kiski", a new serial on Doordarshan... .



Kiran Bedi with daughter Saina... the idiot box appeals. Photo: R.V. Moorthy.

REFORMS IN Tihar Jail, heading two counselling centres, India Vision Foundation and Navjyoti, are not enough for the super cop Kiran Bedi to bring a light of hope to many desperate lives. She also wants to involve people in India and abroad in the sensitising process and make them think -- "Ghalati Kiski"? Now, a 52-episode serial based on her book "What Went Wrong" published by UBSPD - and translated into Hindi by Rama Shankar - is showing on Doordarshan at 10 p.m. everyday.

But she is not doing it alone. She has her 27-year-old daughter, Saina Bedi by her side. A student of law, she is the assistant producer of docudrama while Shree Adhikari Brothers remain the main hand.

Before you ask the duo anything, Saina requests, "Please don't call it a story. They are real life incidents and my mother's treasure of 20 years."

"The narration has its origin in the pain and agony," as Kiran Bedi mentions in the book.

Saina, who derives her name from Sai Baba, says, "Making serial was not my career at all. It just came as a flow. We actually wanted to publish them one by one but I thought why not make it reach where it should, the masses in the village." And that is why the duo did not choose private satellite channels. "They would have presented it in a glamorous way for commercial gains, their reach is limited too. Doordarshan has the largest reach in India. But people in metropolitan cities also watch DD. From day one of the telecast, I am getting response from here," says Kiran.

Why not Adhikari Brothers' own SABe TV? "SABe TV is a different feel altogether. It is more associated with comedy and light serials while our serial is serious and thought provoking," says Saina.

So what are they aiming through the serial? "We want to sensitise people towards those who suffered," she says. "It is to leave you to think, not tutor," says Kiran.

But showing some incidents might also prove to be a weapon for negative thinkers to take to crime? "No," comes a firm reply from the Magsayasay Award winner, "There is nothing objectionable in the serial. It does not go on the air until we approve it. Moreover, here, we are leaving the guilty feel guilty, rather than teach him how to commit a crime."

Will the conclusion be left on the audience? "The problems shown are the solution in itself. They will also give strength and courage to them," says Saina. "It is a wake up and shake up call," announces Kiran Bedi.

But then, what worries them are TRP rates. "I never knew anything about the technical and commercial part of the serial. Now we know that if DD does not gain, we are out. So we just pray that TRP rates go high," says Saina.

The good news for the Bedi family is that in some schools this book has also been recommended in school syllabus and many NGOs are using it for family counselling.

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