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Society is more violent now: Filmmaker Ketan Mehta

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The Indian society is turning more violent now, said Ketan Mehta while expressing his concern about the young students of the country during the third edition of Taj Literature Festival which ended on Sunday.

Mehta said, “India is an extremely liberal country and its character is changing now. I am uncomfortable with that. We are witnessing a violent and polarized society now.

Mehta had made the films like ‘’Maya Memsaheb’’ and ‘’Mirch Masala’’ and is working on his next movie ‘’Rani of Jhansi’’. ’’ He also made a movie “Toba Tek Singh” along with six directors from India and Pakistan to mark the 70th year of Partition. The movie will be released next month.

He also compared the current situation of the country with his movie ‘’Holi’’ ‘ released in 1984. Holi, shot mainly on the campus of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, also based on the theme of student rebellion on the campus.

Speaking about ‘Holi’, which was based on the violence of society faced by students, Mehta said, ‘’ There was a strike at FTII when I was a student there. I was reliving the experience through the movie.

“If an artist chooses to play safe, he stops being an artist. As an artist, I don’t have the skill and I keep doing what I want to do,” he said.

“Toba Tek Singh”, which is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s Zeal For Unity (ZFU) project, is a biography of famous Sanskrit writer Saadat Hasan Manto. It is also seen as an initiative between India-Pakistan.

Speaking about the movie, he said that it talks about a mental asylum in Lahore and the consequences of two countries decision on the exchange of lunatics few years later Partition. “It is an extremely poignant story about the greatest human tragedy. Manto is the maverick of the times and Pankaj Kapur has done a great job as Toba Tek Singh,” he said.

Mehta also talks about his next movie ‘’Rani of Jhansi’’ leading character Kangana Ranaut, said Kangana is the best fit for the role.

“Rani of Jhansi is one of the strongest woman characters in world history. Ranaut has fire in the belly and she has the hunger to do something new,” said the director, adding that the film’s shooting will begin in October.

Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor will be the movie thereafter.

“I had planned three movies as a series. ‘Mangal Pandey, The Rising’ was the first in the series and ‘Rani of Jhansi’ is the second, which I am currently working. The third will be on Bahadur Shah Zafar,” he said.

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)