Punjab’s Ferozepur district is infamous for its drug network. But a Bollywood film, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, has apparently played a positive part in alleviating the problem.
The story goes like this: when Rakeysh started shooting in the mofussil town on March 9 for the Farhan Akhtar film, the unit was surprised to see the streets deserted after sunset. In fact, the entire town was so quiet, that some of the streetlights were even turned off after a point in the evening.
“All of us were shocked when we arrived. But after we started shooting, the town was lit up and seemed busy again, thanks to the number of unit members working on location. Later, the locals observed that the usual drug peddlers were not to be seen on the streets. We have been told that the dealers are scared to continue their illegal activities amidst so many people,” says a unit hand.
Apparently, the locals of the Indo-Pakistan border town are happy that the film unit has made the place safer for them to move around after dark.
When contacted, Mehra confirms, “We were all taken aback to see the town so dead in the evening on the first two days. That’s when we found out the ground reality from one of the locals. It’s great that our shooting schedule in Ferozpur has affected the town in a positive way.”
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is the biopic of legendary Indian athlete Milkha Singh. While Farhan plays the title role in the film, actor Sonam Kapoor is the female lead.