As part of the celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, inaugurated by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 12th March 2021, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur today launched ‘Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniya’, a short video series created in collaboration with OTT platform, Netflix. Also present at the occasion were Minister of State, Dr L Murugan, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Apurva Chandra, and Head of Global TV, Netflix, Ms. Bela Bajaria.
Women change makers Ms. Basanti Devi, Padma-award winning environmentalist from Pithoragarh known for her contribution towards revitalizing the Kosi river; Ms. Anshu Jamsenpa, a Padma Shri awardee for being the first woman in the world to summit Mount Everest twice in five days in 2017 and Ms. Harshini Kanhekar, the first female firefighter in India, were also present at the launch.
The Minister Shri Anurag Singh Thakur while addressing the audience and media said that Ministry of I&B has been a vital part of Amrit Mahotsav celebrations with various initiatives. The idea of Azadi is intertwined with women emancipation in India and the Minister remarked that the term Azadi or freedom holds a wider connotation for women who have to fight stereotypes and taboos in the society as well. He added that emancipation of women was the hallmark of emancipation index of a society.
Speaking on the collaboration Shri Thakur said “this initiative aims to bring out inspiring stories of Indians and these stories shall motivate and empower more people to achieve their goals”.
He added that this was a long term partnership where different themes and diverse stories will be highlighted. “Netflix will be producing twenty five videos on themes including women empowerment, environment and sustainable development and other days of significance. Netflix will produce two-minute short films for the Ministry which will be shared on social media platforms and telecast on Doordarshan network”, Shri Thakur elaborated.
Shri Thakur elaborated on the multiple dimensions of this partnership and said Netflix and Ministry will continue to organize training workshops and master classes to encourage film makers in India to create inspiring content on various topics under Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
“Netflix and ministry will partner to develop a creative ecosystem by organizing training programs for post-production, VFX, animation, music production among others and will be organized on ground and virtually”, he announced.
The Minister lauded the remarkable achievements of the three women on the dais and said their stories will inspire people across the country. He also expressed hope that after this collaboration film makers from across the world will come to India to make films and documentaries for not just the Indian audience but to showcase it to the entire world. The Minister stated that the partnership between the Ministry and Netflix was only a beginning and will not be limited to Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Earlier, Secretary Shri Apurva Chandra in his opening remarks highlighted the convergence between the Ministry of I&B and Netflix and said that the two entities signed a collaboration agreement and these three videos released today are the first set produced under this partnership. He added that a deeper collaboration featuring a long running series on our freedom struggle and the stories that need to be told to the world is in the pipeline.
Speaking on the occasion Ms Bela Bajaria, Head of Global TV, Netflix, said that India was one of the most vibrant entertainment industries in the world and India was remarkably well placed in times of internet entertainment. “Netflix is excited to be part of a time when stories from India are being exported to the world and the best Indian stories are being discovered and loved on a global stage”, she said.
Commenting on the partnership with Ministry of I&B, Ms Bajaria said that “Netflix is proud to partner with MIB to celebrate and acknowledge the evolution of India over past 75 years by celebrating its beautiful art, culture and storytelling”. She further added that it was “in pursuance of this partnership Netflix has created a series of short videos based on real life stories aimed to celebrate achievement of people from all corners of India”.
Speaking about the first set of videos in the series, Ms Bajaria said that these stories are of incredible women who have fought against the odds to achieve their dreams. Netflix’s commitment to India is strong and growing and Netflix will continue to find the country’s finest stories and share them across teh globe, she remarked.
‘Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan’ is an iconic initiative which brings out beautiful stories of inspirational Indians on various themes including Women Empowerment, Environment & Sustainability, and others. The diverse set of stories seek to motivate and empower Indians from every corner of the country.
The Ministry and Netflix have collaborated to produce the first set of videos featuring seven Women Change makers from across the country who share their experiences in breaking the glass ceiling. They are demonstrated as ‘forces of nature’ as they speak about what Azadi means to them. Showcasing the unique diversity of India, these two minute short films were shot in locations across the country and are narrated by acclaimed actor, Ms Neena Gupta.
The Seven Changemakers also include Ms. Poonam Nautiyal, a healthcare worker who walked miles across Bageshwar district in Uttarakhand to vaccinate everyone; Dr. Tessy Thomas, the first woman scientist to head a missile project in India; Ms. Tanvi Jagadish, India’s first competitive woman stand-up paddleboarder and Ms. Aarohi Pandit, the world’s youngest and first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean solo in a light-sport aircraft.
Three of the videos, featuring Ms. Basanti Devi, Ms. Anshu and Ms. Harshini; and a trailer offering a sneak peek into the series, were released today. With a focus on highlighting and honouring the exemplary women, the three Changemakers were felicitated by Shri Anurag Thakur, who lauded their efforts of empowering women across the country and leading by example.
Story of Basanti Devi, the savior of Kosi River
Story of Anshu Jamsenpa, the conqueror of Mount Everest
Story of Harshini Kanhekar, brave heart who fights fire for a living
The launch of the ‘Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan’ series adds another chapter to the partnership between Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and Netflix as they join together to commemorate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav marking 75 years of India’s independence.
This partnership, which also saw Netflix participate during the 52nd International Film Festival of India in Goa in November 2021, will further be strengthened through initiatives like Skill Development Workshops, Masterclasses, Film Screenings, Short Film Competitions, in the near future.
The Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniyan’ videos will be available on various social media channels of the Ministry and Netflix, as well as broadcast across the Doordarshan network. They will also soon be made available in other languages like Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, English and Malayalam to ensure that the stories are seen and heard by people across the nation.
The launch event of ‘Azadi Ki Amrit Kahaniya’ is available at the link below.