In 1948, the makers of the Dilip Kumar film, Mela, created a set of a market in Malad for their shoot. Today, that location is a flourishing bazaar. Similarly, Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay left behind an entire functional village, which was Ramgarh in the movie. And now, television seems to be following the same route.
The story of the soap, Diya Aur Baati Hum, revolves around a family and a makeshift confectionary store. Every week, kilos of laddoos, jalebis and other desi delicacies are created by actor Anas Rashid’s character during the shoot. And to make sure the cast and crew can give back to society in some way, the makers have made it a point to distribute the food made on the sets among the needy.
“There’s a temple outside our studio and there are always people there who could use some food. So, twice a week, we go around town giving food to the impoverished and street urchins who we see at traffic signals and on the footpaths,” says Anas, who plays Suraj on the Star Plus show.
“Sometimes, during retakes, a lot of food gets made, which stands a chance of going bad. This system works for everyone. We feel someone else can benefit from this aspect of the show,” adds the actor, who loves cooking and serving people himself.
The cast films the daily show in Mira Road almost every day, and a few slum settlements located near the set also have reason to rejoice. “We hope to seek blessings from them, that’s all,” adds Anas.