As the Facts for Life based entertainment-education serial, Kyunki… Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai (Because… That’s What Life Is) gains more popularity, viewers like Rachana and her mother are coming forward to share the impact that the show is having on them and their families.
NEW DELHI, India, 20 September 2009 – Having started her 9th grade in July 2009, Rachana is more than an average city teenager. A resident of Vikaspuri in New Delhi, Rachana has always been conscious about her role in society and is keen on helping make India a better place.
She is not much of a television watcher and since she is a student, her parents were insistent that she not watch too much TV too. So, Rachana first came across Kyunki… quite by chance! Yet, when Rachana’s family started watching this serial together they learnt that TV could be a source of education, too.
“I have been watching Kyunki… almost from the beginning”, says Rachana. “Sometimes we have power cuts or we go out of town for a few days, so we miss a few episodes. Otherwise, we all watch this serial together.”
Rachana had decided quite early into her school that she wanted to become a doctor. “I want to help others in my country in some way but didn’t really know how to go about it. I feel becoming a doctor is a good way of helping those who cannot afford proper medical care. I know there are lots of diseases and problems and I want to be the kind of doctor who is good and fair, especially to the poor”
A scene from Kyunki: Rajpura is prepared in advance to tackle floods.
Rachana’s ambition of becoming a doctor was heightened once she started watching Kyunki… “There is so much I learnt from this show that I didn’t know about earlier.
The story I was particularly moved by was when the whole village gets together and prepares to guard themselves against floods. I learnt that even those who are uneducated and helpless can come together and do great things. I want people to be as motivated and responsible in real life also”.
Much like vibrant little Meena, the youngest protagonist in Kyunki... who highlights the importance of education and gender equality in her village, Rachana too is full of energy and ideas about how she can improve the world around her. “
After I learnt about disaster management from the serial I decided to join the Girl Scouts in the coming school year. I want to be properly trained to take action if anything like that were to happen to us’.
Rachana’s immediate plans also include taking up Karate classes. “As we learn from Shabnam in the serial, even girls should be able to protect themselves and help others”, she explained enthusiastically.
Rachana’s mother, also a self-confessed fan of Kyunki…, shares that she particularly likes the serial because it supports her personal beliefs, especially about empowering young girls.
“I never got a chance to go to school so when I had children I was determined that each one would get educated. I have always told my friends and neighbours to send their girls to school so that they can be independent and do not have to depend on anyone else for a living”, says Rachana’s mother.
Originally from Sarangpur village in Uttar Pradesh, Rachana’s family is convinced that a programme like Kyunki… can bring about much needed changes, especially in health behaviors, in rural India.
“When I left my village many years ago our people were still not aware of such things as immunization and cleanliness” says Rachana’s mother. “Of course, things have improved a bit now but there is still a need to educate people, especially about caring for young children so that they remain healthy”.
In a country where television enjoys high levels of penetration as well as influence and is a major source of entertainment and information, Kyunki… has succeeded in inspiring ripples of change in the day to day lives of those who regularly watch the serial.
“Kyunki… is so different from the other shows I have watched on TV because this serial talks about the things that really matter and gives us lessons for life that can help us make our life and the lives of others better”, says Rachana.
Kyunki… Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai airs on Doordarshan, the national public channel, from 20:30 hrs to 21:00 hrs every Monday to Wednesday.
Having already touched the lives of more than a 125 million viewers, Kyunki… is being applauded for its efforts to educate and bring about behavioral changes on issues including health, hygiene, gender equality, social inclusion, safe motherhood, HIV/AIDS, education and others.