UNICEF and Prasar Bharati Sign Partnership Agreement for Phase 2 of Facts for Life TV Show
New Delhi, 27 January 2009: Prasar Bharati CEO B.S. Lalli and UNICEF India Representative Karin Hulshof today signed a broadcast agreement for Phase 2 of the Facts for Life entertainment-education drama serial, Kyunki…Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai (Because… That’s What Life Is).
In an unprecedented partnership between India’s public broadcaster and UNICEF, the signing is a go ahead for the telecast of an additional 130 episodes of Kyunki… The series is a primetime telenovela that promotes crucial messages from the UN publication Facts for Life, messages that can change and even save the lives of many children and women.
“This is indeed a very significant event,” said Mr. Lalli; “Prasar Bharati strongly believes in communicating social causes in a wholesome and purposeful manner. This is a very important initiative for us and we on our part will always be walking step in step to achieve the goals of this particular enterprise.”
Kyunki… was launched in April 2008 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which has provided significant financial and technical support to the programme. The TV show forms the flagship of a multi-level, multi-channel Facts for Life communication initiative designed to generate behavioural results in support of key government initiatives such as the National Rural Health Mission—and through them to contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
Adopting the entertainment-education format on an ambitious scale, Kyunki… aims to reach families, caregivers, and health workers with messages relating to health, education, protection, and equality. It does so, however, through an engaging soap opera format designed as much to entertain and bring audiences back night after night as to promote pro-social behaviours.
Emphasizing self-efficacy, the practices and behaviours explained and promoted through Kyunki… are largely derived from Facts for Life, a publication developed by a number of UN agencies to deliver pertinent, rights-based information in a manner that is relevant and practical to people all around the world. The creators of Facts for Life and Kyunki… recognize that their primary audience of under-served women in states with high rates of infant and maternal mortality may not have another source of credible, reliable information on matters of child and maternal health and welfare.
With an initial 130-episode phase wrapping up next month, Kyunki… has already tackled topics like promoting health and hygiene within the home and in the community, understanding and averting preventable childhood diseases, safe motherhood and HIV prevention, as well as social issues such as girls’ education, discouraging early marriage, and child labour.
In 2008 the serial reached at least 55 million viewers as measured by TAM Media Research and has consistently been amongst the top three daily serials in the country. Monitored in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, the latest audience survey revealed that 55 percent of all respondents find Kyunki… more entertaining and 95 percent find it more educational than any other show they watch on television.
Kyunki… airs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 8:30 pm on DD1.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information, please contact:
Geetanjali Master, Communication Specialist, UNICEF India
For more information on Facts for Life log on to www.unicef.org/ffl