Code Red: Reaching out to those in distress

  • Sweta Kaushal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 17, 2015 17:35 IST

Remember Ranbir Kapoor's angry boss, Sunil Puri, in Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year? The scheming, short-tempered boss, Manish Chaudhari, will now be seen in a totally different avatar: As a champion for raising awareness about farmer's suicide in the country.

Chaudhari will be part of a show, called Code Red, which will premiere on January 19, on COLORS TV. It will be presented by actor Sakshi Tanwar. He plays an NGO representative who runs a suicide helpline for farmers in the show that tackles three burning issues facing India in six episodes.

Talking about his role in the series, titled Umeed, Chaudhari says, "I play an ex-cop in the show. There is a background to why he chose to be a police officer and using his influence to help out people with suicidal tendencies. It is based on a Surat-based foundation." He adds: "From what I understand, our farmers are driven to take this extreme step because of government's apathy."

When asked if crime-based reality shows promote suicidal tendencies or raise awareness, Chaudhari says: "What matters is the way we make a TV show. I personally think Crime Patrol and other such shows sensationalise crime. This is a borderline issue and we shouldn't make shows just for the sake of filling a slot. We should make sure that there is a strong message."

Code Red is a TV series which deals with three different issues. Other than Umeed, Awaaz will focus on violence against women and children, and Chakravyuh will show various forms of entrapment -- physical and psychological. Each theme will be helmed by a different production house and the stories will be presented by TV actor Sakshi Tanwar.

The show was inaugurated by retired Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi, actors Tisca Chopra, Manish Chaudhary, lawyer Rita Kumar, senior journalist Nalini Singh and Twitter Head (India) Rishi Jaitly among others at Hindu College, Delhi University.

Speaking at the launch, Tisca Chopra said, "Code Red is something which we have partnered with our upcoming film Rahasya. In the film, there is an 18-year-old girl who has been killed. I play her mother. Code Red also talks about issues within the family which are kept bottled up, secret and don't come out."

"With Code Red, we are going a step further by showcasing stories of human frailties and urging people to speak up on issues that are disturbing to them and the people around them. It is not just a show but a movement to get people believe that hope can be found," said Raj Nayak, CEO Colors.

(With PTI inputs)

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