Abhi Nahi – Pakistan’s first web series on Breast Cancer Awareness by Haseena Moin

Haseena Moin, the legendary writer, pens down the story after ten years to create responsiveness on breast cancer.

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) ‘Abhi Nahi’, the most anticipated web series, written by Haseena Moin and directed by Misbah Ishak Khalid, will be available on RINSTRA in April 2021. The press event to brief the media was held today in Islamabad, to meet the cast, writer and the director of the series. The story of Abhi Nahi, tackles the theme of ‘in sickness or in health’ while removing the stigma of breast cancer in the society, showing how a man can channel his love and commitment to bring about a holistic and positive impact. Sinara’s (lead character played by Nida Karim) emotional journey signifies the importance of kindness and compassion during her battle with breast cancer, and how it can bring about a crucial change.

Haseena Moin, the most celebrated writer of our times, said, that, “I am myself a cancer survivor and when RINSTRA asked me to write this play, I wanted to put my heart and soul in this play to tell the young girls and mothers with basic message, ‘Let’s fight Cancer together’”.

Nida Karim, the lead in the web-series in her debut shared her views and said, “I always wanted to do a character that was meaningful and had the power to communicate a certain message. In Abhi Nahi, Sinara’s character is able to convey the message of resilience, and faith in true love and care. These are the true values that depict our society and the people around us. I am sure with this message Abhi Nahi will touch the heart and soul of anyone who will watch this on Rinstra.com”.

Dr Aziz Rab Chief Executive Officer of Green-Star is playing the role of the father and Noman Sami is the lead-hero in the series. Noaman Sami is a Pakistani television and film actor. His appearances include Main Haar Nahi Manoun Gi, Daldal, Help Me Durdana. In 2019, he made his film debut with Talash which was critically praised. Currently.

Chief Creative Officer of RINSTRA, Misbah Ishak Khalid, who is also producing and directing the web-series, said, “Abhi Nahi, is a subject very close to my heart, I have tried to share the story from a holistic perspective, every character to depict how a family member feels when such an issue is faced by any family”. She further said, “the story is how each and every member of the family is impacted and contributes in fighting cancer”.

As of 2021, out of all types of cancers, 28.7% of the new cases of cancer were breast cancer alone. Addressing the stigma of breast cancer awareness in Pakistan, Abhi Nahi, the web-series focuses on normalizing as well as accepting it. The protagonist, Sinara, is a young girl in her early twenties set to marry Ayaan, the man she loves. However, during his work trip abroad she is diagnosed with breast cancer while preparing for her wedding, and suffers an emotional breakdown, causing her to try leaving the relationship so that she can ‘spare’ Ayaan from her sickness. During the five-episode saga, she confides in people close to her while seeking treatment for the illness and battling her own inner demons.

Dr. Adil Akhtar, Chairman and Co-founder of RINSTRA Technologies, said, “Being an Oncologist myself, it is very important for me to be part of such a storytelling milestone for the Pakistani media industry”. He further said, “Breast cancer is curable when diagnosed early by screening with mammograms and breast exam. Even in advance stages it is very treatable with the new treatments, ”. He said, “we believe “Abhi Nai” would create widespread awareness in Pakistan. Our focus for this effort is to create awareness about the Breast Cancer in the country, including the dangerously high incidences of breast cancer cases in Pakistan”. He said, “also the disease is not fatal and is curable, if it can be detected early through routine breast examination and, life after cancer, can be managed as close to normal as before the diagnosis and life is worth living”.

Pakistan alone has the highest rate of Breast Cancer than any other Asian country, as approximately 90000 new cases are diagnosed every year, out of which 40000 die. In Pakistan, 1 in 9 is either suffering from breast cancer or is at risk of developing it, about 77% of invasive breast cancer occurred in women above the age of 50 years, but if diagnosed early the survival rates approach 90%. As of 2020, out of all types of cancers, 28.7% of the new cases of cancer were breast cancer alone.

Female breast cancer has now surpassed lung cancer as the leading cause of global cancer incidence in 2020, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases, representing 11.7% of all cancer cases. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide, with 685,000 deaths. Among women, breast cancer accounts for 1 in 4 cancer cases and for 1 in 6 cancer deaths, ranking first for incidence in the vast majority of countries (159 of 185 countries) and for mortality in 110 countries. There are exceptions, most notably in terms of deaths, with the disease preceded by lung cancer in Australia/New Zealand, Northern Europe, Northern America, and China (part of Eastern Asia) and by cervical cancer in many countries in sub‐Saharan Africa.

Haseena Moin is Pakistan’s most celebrated dramatist, playwright and scriptwriter. She has written several plays for stage, radio and television, some of which have even gained international repute. She is the recipient of the Pride of Performance award for her services to the performing arts in Pakistan. She was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement AGAHI Awards as the Storyteller of Pakistan. Haseena Moin and Misbah Ishak are making another series, “Dastak”, which will be a romantic love story and will be available on RINSTRA later this year.

RINSTRA is providing opportunities to young talent across Pakistan. The casting of Abhi Nahi was done through the RINSTRA.com’s online casting call, where people from across the world submitted their auditions. A voting process continued for a month. With public voting and jury selection Labiba Arshad and Arsalan Khalid are casted in the series.

Labiba Arshad is a journalist from Lahore, she is currently associated with the GNN TV and have been a reporter with Dunya TV in the past. She describes herself as a dreamer and reflects herself as a creator and artist with strong expressions for facts and purpose-based communications.

Arsalan Khalid is an electrical engineer turned actor and director, He has worked in live theatre, short films and multiple DVC’s He has also acted in short films (notable Main Addict Nahi Hoon). Speaking at the press conference he said,” I have a passion for creating meaningful cinema that depicts all aspects of human life. I believe that the entertainment industry is a powerful tool to portray new ideas, challenge existing stereotypes, and break established norms that go against humanity”.

RINSTRA is the gateway for Pakistani content and talent to the local and international media markets and digital platforms. Rising stars on iRINSTRA are promoted on the main RINSTRA platform that will open-up global opportunities for the artists. The state-of-the-art RINSTRA platform offers content creators to discover, create, showcase and monetize their content creation and creative pursuits. RINSTRA is the outcome of the thought leadership of Dice Foundation, USA’s Creative Arts and Media Initiative (DICE CAM). It is part of Dice Foundation’s National Innovation Basket (NIB) program, which aims to create media as a cornerstone of Pakistan’s growth Strategy.