Updated: March 16, 2021 4:35:14 pm
It has been a year since lakhs of migrant labourers found themselves without a source of income and were forced to leave the cities that they helped build. With trains and buses cancelled as India went into lockdown in the face of COVID-19 threat, many died in an attempt to reach home, and others were left with stories that were extremely hard to listen and harder to tell.
As India heads to one-year anniversary of the lockdown, Disney+ Hotstar is set to release 1232 KMS, a film that will showcase the aftermath of the lockdown. The project is aimed to commemorate the indomitable human spirit that shows up in the face of adversity, while also highlighting the society’s apathetic side.
The film will narrate the journey of seven migrant workers who decided to return to their village in Saharsa, Bihar, 1232 kilometres away from their location in Delhi. In the close to 2-minute trailer we see these men set off on bicycles with nothing but hope of reuniting with their families. They face umpteen challenges, swim across the Ganga, and one even collapses with exhaustion but they don’t, or can’t, stop. One of them goes on to say that even if they die on the way, they will not have regrets, as they’d be happy they tried their best to get back home.
While they faced innumerable challenges, they also got to experience several heartwarming acts of kindness. From finding some friendly truckers who offered them a ride, to dhaba owners who provided them meals, this film will also inspire the world to be more considerate towards one another, especially in the time of need. Having read about many tragic stories of these workers while on their way back home, watching the real-life footage in 1232kms will give you goosebumps.
Journalist turned filmmaker Vinod Kapri travelled with these migrant workers as they pedalled for several hours each day across highways, villages and towns. He is credited not only as the director of the film but has also bankrolled it, while Oscar awardee Guneet Monga and Smriti Mundhra’s Meralta Films are the executive producers. Lyricist Gulzar has teamed up with Vishal Bhardwaj to elevate these real-life stories with some striking soulful music, and Rekha Bhardwaj and Sukhwinder Singh have lent their vocals for the film.
Talking about making this 1232 KMS, director Vinod Kapri in a statement said, “2020 has been an eye opener for the entire world, and the journey of these migrants as they undertook the longest route to return home taught me the biggest lesson i.e smallest of help in the time of need can go a long way and save lives. When I got to know about these seven men, I wanted to help and capture their journey in order to make people aware of their plight. Travelling with them, as they cycled for about 16 hours and covered almost 160 kms every single day for one week, and seeing the ordeals of all the others like them who were experiencing the same, was a life changing experience for me. We are really honoured to showcase their struggles through 1232 Kms releasing on Disney+ Hotstar VIP for everyone to see.”
Gaurav Banerjee, President and Head – Hindi and English Entertainment, STAR India added, “Our aim at Disney+ Hotstar is not only to bring imaginative and captivating stories but also showcase the realities of today. 2020 was indeed a tough year but it was even tougher for the lakhs of migrants who travelled on bare feet. To understand and acknowledge their struggle we bring 1232 Kms on the lockdown anniversary which highlights the lesser known stories of 7 migrants and their journey through these tough times. This is not just a programme for us, it’s a documentary that will help us be more empathetic towards every person and the suffering we all witnessed.”
Starting March 24, 1232 KMS will stream on Disney+ Hotstar VIP
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.