'Pati, Patni Aur Woh' doesn't exploit children: NDTV Imagine

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) NDTV Imagine entertainment channel has stoutly defended its recently launched "Pati Patni Aur Woh" reality show, denying charges by Women and Child Development Minister Krishna Tirath and various NGOs that it was "exploiting children" and saying it will take appropriate steps to protect its broadcast rights.

"We have received a notice from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) asking us to stop the telecast of the show 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' immediately. Their view is that child rights have been violated during the production of this show.

"We are very surprised by this notice, as NCPCR has not approached either NDTV Imagine or BBC (the format owner and producer of this show) to seek any clarifications pertaining to their concerns," read the statement.

"Pati Patni Aur Woh", inspired by international reality show "Baby Borrowers", is about parenting. Right from living the life of an eight-month pregnant woman to taking care of an infant, a toddler, and a teenager -- the show that went on air Sep 28 features five celebrity couples doing it all.

Last week, Delhi-based NGO Uday Foundation sent a written complaint to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, the NCPCR and the labour ministry, after which NCPCR, an autonomous body that works for child rights, has been asked to look into the matter.

"For the sake of making a serial, the makers cannot exploit and harass the children. Even though the children's parents are watching what is happening, the makers cannot separate them from their biological parents," Tirath said here Thursday.

However, the statement from NDTV Imagine said: "We are not in agreement with NCPCR's position and we will take all appropriate steps to protect our broadcast rights."

"BBC has full experience in ensuring the safety of the children. All through the show the parents of the children have been supervising the proceedings from TV cameras in adjacent rooms and are free to intervene if they perceive the slightest risk to their child."

This was evident in Thursday's episode of the show when parents went to the various houses where their respective kids were staying to teach celebrity couples the apt way to manage their child.

"Imagine is a responsible broadcaster and BBC is the global gold standard in quality programming and production, and needless to say, ensuring the children's safety," the statement added.

The show has Rakhi Sawant-Elesh Parujanwala, Shilpa Saklani-Apurva Agnihotri, Juhi Parmar-Sachin Shroff, Mouni Roy-Gaurav Chopra and onscreen couple Gurmeet Chaudhary-Debina Bonnerjee.

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