Rajpal Yadav, who was last seen in the Coolie No.1 remake is all set to be seen in the theatrical ‘Raag – The Music of Life’ essaying the central role. The film is about human trafficking and reveals the dehumanizing situation that victims of human trafficking face.
The story of the film follows a girl from the Bedia community from the hinterlands of Central India i.e., Bundelkhand region. The community traditionally depended on prostitution and trafficking for a living. It celebrates the birth of a girl child, as she will soon become a bread-winner.
The Bedias trace their roots to Ramayana times. It is said that at the birth of the twins Luv & Kush – Indra had sent his celestial dancers i.e. apsaras down on earth to dance and celebrate. The apsaras started living on earth and their generations slowly started performing the ‘Rai’ – a traditional folk dance by girls at temples; and on auspicious occasions at the house of rich and influential people who considered it a status symbol. Their major patrons were the feudal lords and when the zamindari system was abolished, they lost their patrons. Over time, due to economic reasons – the community took up prostitution. What began as something very pious – soon became a reason people frowned at the community.
Producer Piyush Mundhada elaborating the issue says; “We did a lot of research on the community and our data is backed up with established secondary data sources including International University Journals on CSEW (Commercially Sexually Exploited Women). Apart from the girls being forced into the trade at a very young age, they face exploitation in the form of getting injected with the growth hormone oxytocin. Also, STDs are rampant and these girls are victims of violence too at the hands of their customers. It is almost impossible to get them willing to opt out when the parents themselves are pimps – and it can be done only through education. And we have showcased the same in our film.”
Human Trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. These trafficking rings prey on the poor and illiterate and often are hand-in-glove with the law enforcement officials. “Of course, it is very difficult to understand why you want your own daughter or wife to sleep with others. However, for the Bedia community women are just considered a commodity to exploit and earn money. The most important tool to stop this heinous act is education. Girls must go to school, and we have made a small effort through this film for the same. Saroj Khan ji had brought this story to us and the subject was very close to her heart; we will be forever grateful to the noble soul for the same. Even if we can change the lives of a few people through this film – we will consider ourselves to be successful” says Piyush Mundhada as he signs off for the moment. The film has released on around 150 screens in India.