On June 29, 2014 Not My Life aired on Indian Public Television to an audience of 460 million people, opening the eyes of Indians from all walks of life to the realities of human trafficking, nationally and globally.
The acclaimed documentary, translated into Hindi, aired on Doordarshan (DD) National, India’s public television network, in its “featured film” 9:30 – 10:30 pm time slot. The broadcast enabled some of India's poorest and most vulnerable populations to view the film in a language they understood, hopefully enabling them to be alert to the problem and protect their children and families. Audience reaction was so powerful following the Sunday evening telecast-- with both urban and rural viewers placing a high number of phone calls to DD headquarters-- that the film was re-telecast Monday morning, June 30, to reach policy and change makers who watch DD National at 7.30 a.m.
“My observation is that Not My Life has triggered something very deep in our national psyche, and that a real movement for change may be at our doorstep”, says Mike H. Pandey, producer for the Earth Matters series, and co-producer of Not My Life / India.
Planning is currently underway for a re-broadcast of the film, this time in English, on Doordarshan and other Indian television networks. The broadcasts are part of a larger, three year awareness campaign being launched by Worldwide Documentaries and its partners to change the way Indian's perceive and respond to human trafficking and modern-day slavery.
“One of the many compelling features of Not My Life for Indians is that it does not shy away from the problem we have here, but it also helps us understand that we are not alone in this. Trafficking and slavery are human problems, really, not just Indian problems”, says Bina Rani, CEO of iPartner, India, a partner in the nationwide awareness campaign.
Not My Life producer and director Robert Bilheimer believes that Not My Life / India may prove to be a watershed moment for human rights not only in India, but around the world: “Any major human rights movement needs a vigorous public discourse in order to succeed. If we can get hundreds of millions of Indians talking and thinking about human trafficking by exposing them to a film like Not My Life, then meaningful, sustained action will not be far behind. We are thrilled and encouraged by the response we’ve had so far, and intend to build on it— not only in India, but beyond its borders as well.”