Once again, a channel, NDTV Imagine, has launched a show, Meerabai, with a child in the lead.
Nine-year-old Aashika Bhatia will play the young Meera over the next few months in the Sagar Pictures’ produced mythological.
By the rules
Veer Kunwari (Meera’s mother) will be enacted by Gauri Harmit Kaur while the role of Ratan Singh, Meera’s father, will be performed by Kunal Bakshi. Paras Arora will be seen as Meera’s cousin and Twara Desai will play her sakhi, Lalita.
Shailaja Kejriwal from the channel states that the production house has assured NDTV Imagine that issues over a child working in a daily will not be raised.
“They have assured us that they are following all the government guidelines. They’ve even tied up with Aashika’s school to ensure that she doesn’t miss her classes or her exams. They don’t want her to fall back on attendance. The school has been extremely supportive,” asserts Kejriwal.
But wasn’t the channel apprehensive about having a second show on air with a child in the lead given that another show, Jasuben Jayantilal Joshi Ki Joint Family is under the scanner for the same reason?
Kejriwal denies this: “The show has been under production for the last four-five months. We can’t suddenly can’t change the format. But have tried to accomodate all government guidelines with regard to a child working in a show. After a few months, Meera will grow up and Aashika will make way for an adult actress.”
Right now, the 9 pm and 10.30 pm slots on the channel are vacant and running repeat telecasts of Seeta aur Geeta and Kitani Muhabbat Hai.
With Ramayan’s exit next week, the 9.30 pm slot will also need to be filled. After July 4, Ghar Ki Baat Hai will also make an exit. So where which of these slots will Meerabai slip into?
Kejriwal says that the channel is still undecided on the show’s timing. All she can say for the moment is that Meerabai will be a weekday show and not a weekend bonanza.