What is it about?
On the eve of March 24, 2020, India went into lockdown owing to the rapid spread of coronavirus. The first case was discovered in Kerela, on January 30, when a student from Wuhan came back as a carrier of the deadly virus. Immediate measures had been taken by authorities to arrest this deadly virus. Yet, it continued to contaminate, casting its tenacious clutches over a population of 1.3 billion, making them victims to the deadly COVID-19.
The financial capital, Mumbai, was badly hit by the virus. Dharavi, India's largest slum, falls under the jurisdiction of Senior Inspector Ramesh B Nangare. The slum is a hotbed for migrant labours and several small scale industries. Inspector Ramesh walks us through how he has efficaciously managed to control the situation in Dharavi. He goes an extra mile educating residents on the perils of the deathly virus. He has connected with NGOs bringing meals for people residing there. Dharavi caters to the city's ever growing needs. This part of the documentary shows that it indeed takes a lot to educate the uneducated on the perils this pandemic. If stringent measures weren’t enforced by Inspector Ramesh in Dharavi, the financial capital of India would have been robbed of it’s tremendous economic capacity.
The documentary then introduces us to the young Sangli-based Dr Hamna Abdur Nazir. The doctor speaks about how her life transformed once she was enlisted to join a team of doctors, trained to manage COVID-19 cases. Dr Hamna speaks about the physiological and psychological challenges that she has braved during the course of this journey.
We manage to get a sneak peak into the life of our Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan, and how he communicates with doctors of various medical and health facilities from around the country to keep abreast of situation and coming up with stringent plans to halt its growth. Journalist Sweta Singh, Delhi-based Aaj Tak correspondent, recounts her experience of field reporting, speaking to a number of migrant labourers who were waiting to go back to their villages before the borders were sealed.
The documentary also records statements from some other eminent unsung heroes like Dr Tedros. A. Ghebreyesus (W.H.O), Inspector P. Vijayan (IPS Kerela Police), and Mohammed A Rahman (CEO, Propellor Technologies), who has played an important role in the creation of robots that can serve food to the COVID-19 affected patients in hospitals in Chennai.
It is interesting to learn how the technological apparatus has transformed our lives for the better. This project was completed during the second lockdown. Today, all one needs is a simple hand-held device with smart features and an excellent editing programme to create a documentary. The Lockdown is a good example of excellent editing skills despite limitations that one has faced to produce this project. There is a slight bucolic feel that is purposely left, helping us arrive at the truth of the matter. While we are shown basic aspects of the lockdown, the documentary could have told us more about the plight of migrant worker. We could’ve been introduced how the tertiary sector has been coming to terms with the 'new normal'. Time and circumstances have limited several aspects that could get involved in the making of a better documentary. However, as an onlooker, one could hope for a sequel that will weave in various other aspects that have impacted the country at large as we head towards a possible lockdown 5.0.
Name of the documentary – The Lockdown (in conjunction with the National Geographic)
Platform – Disney+Hotstar
Approximate time – 45 mins
Cast – Real People, real stories
Rating – 4/5
Director – Sajeed A