Zee raises voice against new-age dowry via new show ‘Service Wali Bahu’

MUMBAI: Zee TV, which has through its shows highlighted social issues like remarriage, girl child-trafficking, women empowerment, complexes that surround a girl’s dark complexion etc, is now ready with its latest offering. 

The channel will be launching yet another story of hope and inspiration, a voice against new-age dowry. In a city like Mumbai, where a working woman thinks of herself as a financially independent individual, somebody else in another part of the country is looking at her as an exploitation opportunity.

And that’s exactly what the channel’s latest early primetime offering brings to fore. Christened - Service Wali Bahu, the show is produced by Village Boy Productions’ Rakesh Paswan and is an attempt to curb this unhealthy approach towards marriage by creating awareness.

Set in the small town of Jamshedpur, the story revolves around a career-oriented woman (Payal) who can support her in-laws with a steady income post marriage. She’s ambitious and yet has her family values intact. Having broadened her horizons through education and learning and managed to build meaningful career for herself, Payal has a distinct vision about her husband and his family with whom she will spend her entire life with.

It explores an inspiring journey of ummeed, from being a self-driven, super achieving daughter who has always made her parents proud to falling into a trap of a new-age dowry system where her in-laws look to her as a steady source of family income.

With the new series, the channel makes the dead slot of 6.30 pm alive. Earlier Zee TV aired Pavitra Rishta in this slot, which concluded its journey in October 2014. The channel has been airing repeats since then. The new series will premiere on 23 February and will air every Monday-Saturday at 6.30 pm.

“We were constantly developing subjects for the 6.30 pm slot. We were looking for an exciting drama and a concept that can catch the viewers’ attention very quickly. While we were developing the concept, we were also meeting a lot of writers and producers. This is when Rakesh narrated to us a one liner, which just clicked for our 6:30 pm slot offering.  We did not have to explain anything to the viewers, the title played its own magic,” says Zee TV programming head Namit Sharma.

Sharma feels that the story is relevant in today’s time and allows the channel for a beautiful socially relevant story telling. According to him the USP of the show is that it delivers a message and makes a statement about how a woman can balance work and home both, successfully despite problems.

The makers and the channel started discussing the show almost four-five months back. “It is a turnaround show for me,” says Sharma.

He further adds that unlike other shows where Zee works with multiple writers and collates thoughts, which takes a lot of time, in this show the channel has worked with Paswan as the only writer, which was an advantage.  “Rakesh’s strength is that he is a writer and his writing comes very naturally. The rest falls into place quickly. Here, we are writing it with a very clear focus about her journey, tribulations etc,” Sharma says.

Paswan, who has worked with the channel before and delivered shows like Afsar Bitiya and Dulhan, believes that the new series questions mindset that looks to exploit a working woman for her ability to learn. “The differentiated concept of the show and its treatment is aimed at making the audience sit up and question the motivations with which people approach marriage,” says Paswan.

The show has already got a title sponsor on-board in Wagh Bakri. “We are quite happy the way advertisers are responding to the series. Within four days of putting the promo on-air we got a title sponsor,” Sharma informs.

The new series will be competing with original running show like Suhani Si Ek Ladki on Star Plus while other channels telecast repeats.

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