Bindass' answer to Slumdog Millionaire Big Switch

By Sangeeta Tanwar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | August 27, 2009
UTV Bindass' reality show will feature 10 youngsters belonging to rich families living the life of inhabitants of a Mumbai slum

Bindass' new reality show, Big Switch, seems poised to take the reality genre one step further by bridging the ever visible gap between the rich and the poor.

The channel's new show will have 10 rich kids sharing living space with 10 slum kids in one of the Mumbai slums.

& #BANNER1 & #Speaking to afaqs!, Heather Gupta, channel head, UTV Bindass and UTV Movies, says, "The title suggests that the project is all about switching lives. The concept puts 10 rich, privileged kids belonging to different age groups in a Mumbai slum, where they are seen performing daily chores undertaken by slum kids."

The activities assigned to participants on the show could range from rag picking to shoe shining and whitewashing, in addition to regular tasks such as cooking their own food and washing clothes.

Gupta suggests that inspiration for this unique idea came from last year's popular British movie, Slumdog Millionaire. The movie is a western take on millions of Indians who live in slums. So, the channel is making an attempt to put things in perspective by mounting a series that uses slums in a realistic way.

The channel is confident that the subject holds potential, considering that it will capture how a large part of India sustains itself in less than perfect living conditions.

The show, which is likely to comprise 13-15 episodes, is being made by Endemol India. The channel is yet to take a call on the time slot for Big Switch, but it is learnt that the show will be aired on weekends in a prime time slot.

Bindass has roped in kids hailing from film, business and other prosperous families to stay with the slum kids.

Commenting on the selection parameters employed for identifying potential participants for the first of its kind show, Gupta explains, "By and large, the magic for most reality shows lies in the dynamic relationships shared by the participants. To bring flavour and interest to the show, we have carefully selected people from diverse backgrounds."

Unlike other reality shows, the gratification here does not come in the form of one of the rich kids winning some prize. Instead, the goal of the participants from well-to-do families is to complete their tasks successfully, so that the winner can fulfil one aspiration of a slum kid, such as a dream holiday.

"Bindass is all about challenges and unexpected things. So, Big Switch is a perfect brand-fit for the youth channel. Given the short attention span of today's youth, the idea itself is brave and sure to catch the imagination of youngsters," says Gupta.

She also shares that the channel will soon launch the Indian version of the international show, Kenny vs. Penny, along with the second season of Ugesh Sarcar's magic show.

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