February 7, 2017 4:49:08 am
THE NATIONAL Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is awaiting approval from the Health Ministry for videos it shot in December with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan to promote awareness about eye ailments.
While NFDC officials confirmed that there was “no confirmation” yet on the “Eye Hear You” campaign — on conditions like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy that lead to loss of vision — Health Ministry officials said the file related to the initiative was sent to the Union Health Minister “at a somewhat late stage” and was “not cleared”.
NFDC general manager, Priyanka Mishra, said, “There are many such proposals we take to ministries. You should speak to the Health Ministry about this. We work on their behalf.”
Aditi Bansal, a producer at NFDC, said, “As of now, there is no confirmation from the ministry on the campaign. We are waiting for their response.”
A senior Health Ministry official confirmed that the videos with Shah Rukh, who had agreed to be part of the campaign for free, were shot in December. “The Minister was not in the loop in the planning stages. We were in touch with NFDC for a full-fledged campaign…print, jingles, TV ads, etc. When some videos had already been shot and the file sent for the Minister’s clearance, it was not cleared. The Minister was unhappy that he had not been consulted at an earlier stage when it could have been shot with someone else. It’s a huge embarrassment,” said the official.
Union Minister Nadda and Private Secretary Ritesh Chauhan did not respond to requests for comment. An advisor in the Minister’s office said, “No such proposal for a campaign was initiated by us.”
Another official, who had liaised with NFDC, said: “We are not doing the campaign now. There are many things that we plan. We do not always go ahead with all the ten things that may have been planned at any given time. What is the point of talking about a campaign that we are not doing?”
Officials said that Shah Rukh, whose ‘Raees’ was released last month, was not the first choice for the campaign. They said the Ministry had originally planned to associate with the other big Bollywood release of last month, ‘Kaabil’, in which Hrithik Roshan played the role of a blind man.
“However, procedural delays meant that the campaign plan could not be finalised in time for it to be released along with ‘Kaabil’. So the ministry chose to do the campaign with Shah Rukh instead,” said an official.
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