Not My Life, widely acclaimed film on global tragedy by Oscar nominee
Robert Bilheimer airs on DD National, June 29 2014, 9:30 PM
Producers: Mike Pandey and Robert Bilheimer
A child disappears in India every eight minutes

Prembabu Sharma

“Indian children go missing in India every eight minutes,” says Kailash Satyarthi, one of the prominent human rights activists interviewed for Oscar nominee Robert Bilheimer’s Not My Life, the first film to depict the harsh realities of human trafficking on a global scale. 
Mike Pandey(riverbank studios), Sumitra Mishra(I partners), Kailash Satyarthi
(bachpan bachao andolan),V K Jain, Tripurari Sharan DG Doordarshan,
K B Kachru (Chairman South Asia, Carlson Rezidor)
 “These children don’t just disappear into thin air,” asserts Satyarthi. “They become slaves. They work in factories and in brothels, in agriculture and in stone quarries, they make bindis and cigarettes, and they number in the millions.” “We are in denial about the reality of child slavery and human trafficking not only in India, but around the world.”

Not My Life, the award-winning film in which Satyarthi appears, has been hailed by critics as a “seminal work” and a “masterpiece”. The 56-minute documentary puts a sharp lens on the multiple forms of child exploitation and human trafficking that exist in almost every country in the world today.

Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries, over a period of more than four years, Not My Life has been been specially edited for broadcast and distribution in India, and is a eo-production of Worldwide Documentaries, and Riverbank Studios in Delhi.

The documentary, translated into Hindi, airs on DD June 29th, in its “featured film” 9:30 – 10:30 pm time slot. The telecast is co-sponsored by Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation. Carlson, a global travel and hospitality company is proud to be an industry leader in the prevention of human trafficking. It is a signatory to the ECP AT (End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) Code of Conduct and the UN Global Compact, furthering its commitment to human rights and Responsible Business. Carlson is also a founding member of the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking. 

Tripurari Sharan DG-Doordarsha with Mike Pandey CEO Riverbank Studios
“This project was, and is, a labor of love”, Bilheimer says. “We kept asking, who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves? In the end we felt that making Not My Life was not only our job, but our mission, because far too much silence still surrounds this issue.”

“Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation are proud to be part of the global fight against human trafficking, a cause that is one of modem society’s most widespread human rights violation. We have been championing and supporting this cause for the last 10 years as part of our efforts to be a responsible business in the global communities that we operate in. As a leader in the hospitality and travel industry in India, we are in a unique position to influence and effect change. We urge more businesses to join us in intensifying efforts to fight against human trafficking,” said K.B. Kachru, Chairman, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

“From DD’s point of view, the June 29 broadcast is an opportunity to bring the national and international tragedy of human trafficking and modern slavery to the attention of our huge audience. For those who watch—and we hope millions do—Not My Life is both an eye-opener and a profoundly moving call to action. We here at DD are proud to be the launching pad for what we all hope will be a sustained awareness effort throughout our country in the years to come.” Tripurari Sharan, Doordarshan’s Director General.

Plans are already underway for a re-broadcast of Not My Life on DD in November, along with an Indian premiere of Not My Life in New Delhi, and the announcement of a three-year community-based awareness campaign designed to radically alter how Indians from all walks of life understand, and respond to, human trafficking and modem slavery crimes.

India is widely recognized as having the world’s largest number of trafficking and slavery victims, many of whom are children. Exploitation and slavery in India includes sex trafficking, and multiple forms of slave labor. Victims of these practices are conservatively estimated to number more than 10 million.

India is by no means alone, however, as a country where children, women, and men are trafficked within, or across, a nation’s borders. Human trafficking is emerging as one of the cruellest and most widespread human rights violations of modem times. It is also big business, with billion-dollar annual profits rivalling profits reaped by criminals who deal in arms ‘and narcotics.

Bina Rani, CEO of iPartner India, one of the NOOs spearheading the nationwide awareness campaign being launched with the DD telecast of Not My Life, notes that Indians need to be able to understand trafficking and slavery in both national and international contexts. “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.”

Mike Pandey, whose Riverbank Studios produces the popular environmental series “Earth Matters” for DD, and is a producer of Not My Life / India, emphasises the urgent need for a nationwide collective effort at all levels if we want slavery to end. This alone will ensure a secure future for our children and a life without fear”.  Director Robert Bilheimer agrees.

“There’s a wonderful statement at the end of Not My Life by Kailash Satyarthi,” Bilheimer says. “And what Kailash tells us is that if we rediscover, and reanimate, that profound sense of moksha and mukti embedded in Indian culture– that sense of liberation and release– then we can indeed create a tsunami and turn this issue around. We have a big vision here, but it’s doable, I believe, and that’s why we are all so excited about Not My Life on DD at the end of this month.”