It was perhaps the humility and honesty of the effort that touched the Big B. Amitabh Bachchan has voluntarily lent his voice to the new campaign on polio, created by Sachin Das Burma, Associate Creative Director, Bates India.
Some leftover film stocks and a genuine urge took filmmaker Sammit Das and Burma to team up for the cause. When Burma came up with the idea of making a polio prevention campaign, Das decided to assist him with the spare stock.
The whole team pitched in and the commercial was shot in the snaking bylanes of Bandra’s Shirley Rajan road. The visuals in the colour film (in a brown tone) feature a small girl playing hopscotch and, the voice-over goes: “This is the way your child should play, not walk.”
Burma approached Star Care, a sister concern of Star India, and they readily agreed to air the campaign. “The ad was on air and that’s when we thought of approaching polio ambassador Big B,” says Burma. He sounds enthused as he continues, “We were initially in doubt whether Mr Bachchan would manage to get some time and watch the CD. When we got a response we were overwhelmed. He agreed to do it for free.”
“Bachchan dubbed for 15 minutes and incorporated his additional inputs to the Hindi script,” says Burma. Now, the same public service campaign while being aired would have Bachchan’s baritone.
Asked on the treatment of the film, Burma said: “We have dealt with the topic very sensitively and realistically. It’s a simple film, which has an optimistic feel to it. You cannot predict the message till the voice-over comes.