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UNICEF launches two new Meena cartoons

DHAKA, June 21, 2011: UNICEF launched two new episodes of Meena cartoons today after a gap of seven years, in order to reinforce the power of the iconic animated character in influencing social change.

The two new episodes of this hugely popular UNICEF flagship production are titled “Jadur Pathor” (The Magic Stone), which features sound hand-washing practices and “Rupkathar Deshe Meena” (Meena in Fantasy Land), which is about new-born care.

Carel de Rooy, UNICEF’s Representative launched the latest episodes of Meena.  Children welcomed the new arrival of this beloved animated character through a colourful and fun-filled programme.
Meena Communication Initiative (MCI) was a UNICEF innovation that began in the early 1990s. The MCI project was born in Bangladesh as a regional project and was simultaneously run in several South Asian countries. UNICEF launched MCI as part of the “Decade for the Girl Child in South Asia” in 1991.

The purpose of the MCI is to promote a better lifestyle for girls and their families through the development of decision-making, problem solving, and communication skills. The project emanated from a need to confront the discrimination against girls in South Asia and sensitise both children and adults.

“Research shows that as a brand, the character Meena is recognised by 97 per cent urban children and adolescents and 81 per cent of children and adolescents in rural areas of Bangladesh, with a large percentage able to cite key messages,” said Carel de Rooy, UNICEF Bangladesh Representative.

He also hopes that the newly launched Meena episodes will be greeted with equal or more enthusiasm by the children of Bangladesh and that their core messages will be well internalised and practiced by them.

The Meena activities are implemented at national, district, upazila, union and school levels. Meena has been used as a communication tool for disseminating messages on children’s education, health and hygiene, nutrition, protection and rights of the child.

In 2010-11, UNICEF Bangladesh produced five Meena cartoon films and six story books on hygiene promotion, infant and young child feeding, promotion of healthy behaviours for flu prevention, promotion of early initiation and exclusive breast feeding and prevention of corporal punishment at school and household levels.

Meena is a nine-year- old animated character who speaks about important social issues in a way children can relate and who is equally capable of speaking to adults. As a result, Meena has become a symbol for girl and children’s rights in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, among others.

For more information, please contact:
• Arifa S. Sharmin, Officer-in-Charge, Communication and Information Section 9336701-10 Ext 7021
• Iftikhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Communication Officer, UNICEF Bangladesh +880 2 8852266, Ext: 7028 Email:

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.

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