Times were unprecedented, the nation was locked in their homes but still some feet kept walking to survive. The year 2020, turned this into a bitter reality for many with the nationwide lockdown announcement to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. At a time when citizens were required to stay put at their homes, there were millions on the road longing to go back to their villages and loved ones.
As we approach one year of the lockdown, an unforgettable event that began the largest human exodus since partition, Disney+ Hotstar VIP brings Hotstar Specials presents 1232kms, a film to commemorate the indomitable human spirit that shows up in the face of adversity while also highlighting the society’s apathetic side.
Produced and Directed by country’s finest journalist and filmmaker Vinod Kapri who travelled with migrant workers as they pedalled for several hours each day across highways, villages and towns, the executive producer of the film is Oscar winner Guneet Monga and Smriti Mundhra’s Meralta Films and is creatively shaped by the veteran film editor, Hemanti Sarkar.
Dodging the police at checkposts, swimming across the mighty Ganga, and fighting a constant battle against hunger and exhaustion – their journey was filled with innumerable challenges, but also with several heartwarming stories of kindness. From the friendly truckers who offered them a ride, to dhaba owners who provided them meals, this film inspires each one of us to be more considerate towards one another especially in the time of need.
Elevating this real-life story with striking soulful music is the legendary lyricist Gulzar Saab along with the industry finest music composer Vishal Bhardwaj. Bringing alive the heartfelt emotions of the migrants journey is the flawless and strong voice of Rekha Bhardwaj and Sukhwinder Singh. Live this long yet inspiring journey in Hotstar Specials presents 1232 KMS this 24th March only on Disney+ Hotstar VIP.
Gaurav Banerjee, President & Head – Hindi and English Entertainment, STAR India said, “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,” Banerjee said.
Director Vinod Kapri, 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 7 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 honored to showcase their struggles through 1232 Kms releasing on Disney+ Hotstar VIP for everyone to see,” Kapri said.
Guneet Monga, Executive producer, said, “Just as every other Indian, I was closely following the news during the lockdown, and was completely distraught when I heard about the situation of the migrant workers around the country. I couldn’t fathom their situation but Vinod Kapri has done an extraordinary job at capturing the reality on ground.
“I wanted to collaborate with this project and shed light on the struggles of these workers so that given a chance at any point of time in our lives, each of us could lend a hand to the lesser privileged.
“I’d like to thank Disney+ Hotstar VIP for recognising the importance of this film and making this moving story of sheer resilience, reach millions of Indians across the country as a reminder of what lakhs of people endured during those times,” Monga said.
Six weeks after the largest nationwide lockdown in India on 21 March 2020, seven migrant workers decided to return to their village in Saharsa Bihar – 1232 kilometres away from their location in Delhi. With everything shut down in the city, these men set off bicycles with nothing but hope of reuniting with their families. They faced umpteen challenges, swam across the Ganga, and even collapsed with exhaustion but did not let anything stop them. The seven men also received support from fellow countrymen as they cycled day in and day out, until finally arriving home.
Hotstar Specials 1232 KMS will release exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar VIP