Rahman's small screen debut - for a cause


Indo-Asian News Service

Mumbai, (IANS) Composer A.R. Rahman is all set for the small screen debut. He has joined hands with the United Nations and production house Endemol for "Mission Ustad" - an "enlightening" musical show on to-be-launched Hindi entertainment channel 9X.

The show aims at spreading the essence of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and Rahman will feature along with some of the best entertainers of the country.

"I am delighted to be part of 'Mission Ustaad' on 9X. Many eminent names from the entertainment industry will join me on the show. I am convinced that the partnership will bring about the desired awakening among Indian viewers, and the show will touch the hearts of the nation in a very entertaining manner," Rahman said in a statement.

Rajesh Kamat, managing director of Endemol India, said that music is a universal language and therefore the show would help bind people together irrespective of their nationality, religion or economic stature.

"With 'Mission Ustaad', we will get an opportunity to reach out to our audiences and involve them in key issues using music as a binding factor. The distinct show promises not just to entertain, but also to enlighten," Kamat said.

The channel is scheduled to go on air by November.

"If India does not achieve the MDGs by 2015, the world will not achieve them. For the marginalised people of India like the Dalits and adivasis (tribals), minorities, the Goals offer a real hope to achieve better education, health and livelihoods. 'Mission Ustaad' will act as a reminder that time is running out," said Salil Shetty, director, United Nations Millennium Campaign.