A week ago, actor Anil Kapoor revealed that Farhan Akhtar and partner Ritesh Sidhwani were producing a music video to promote adult literacy. Shot partly at Film City, Goregaon, the song features actors Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Kareena Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, and Farhan himself.
Now, news is that the duo is coming up with a second, which pledges support to power conservation and the use of renewable energy resources. The first video is still under production and will only be released around April. Work on the subsequent video starts soon after.
"The adult literacy video is not one of your boring public service messages," insists Farhan. "My father (lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar) has penned beautiful lyrics that grab your attention. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have put the music together."
He reasons that the presence of celebrities strengthens the recall value of a public service message. "’Mile sur mera tumhara…’ which was about national integration left a lasting impression on crores of people when it was first aired on Doordarshan years ago. It was remade too. And both versions featured popular faces," recalls Farhan, adding, "Adult literacy is a desperate issue in our country. It’s observed that in a clan, if a woman is educated, she makes an effort to get her kids educated. So, we want to create awareness on that and urge parents to ensure that their kids complete their basic education."
The next video, Farhan’s partner at Excel Entertainment promises, will also feature top names from the film industry. "Javed saab is working on the lyrics because it has to be poetic, and yet, interesting for everyone. And then, we have to put the score together," reveals Ritesh, who was recently rumoured to have split with Farhan professionally. He adds, "We’re humbled that the HRD (Human Resource Development) Ministry approached us to come up with these videos. And we’ll put in our 200 per cent to make them memorable and useful."
Delhi police have approached Farhan to feature in a 90-second film on women’s safety. The father of two has agreed to be part of the clip that will be aired before every movie at cinema halls in the capital. "They met me when I was promoting Don 2. I had no reason to say no," he says. "I’m shooting it this month."