By Geetanjali Master, Lalatendu Acharya, Vikas Verma and Anil Gulati
The International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), a joint initiative of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and UNICEF, was celebrated on 11 December 2005. Broadcasting channels in many states of India organized various events and media workshops for children to get hands-on experience in various aspects of producing radio and television programmes, ranging from conceptualizing, scripting and anchoring to camera work and other technical responsibilities.
“In just eight days we had to produce our own programme. So for six hours a day we tried to learn all that we could."
In the state of Maharashtra, Sahyadri channel, the public service broadcaster, invited a group of eight children from Children’s Academy at Kandivli and Malad to participate in a nine-day long workshop on programming. It was an opportunity for the children, aged between 13 and 15 years, to learn and create their own 30 minute programme, specially produced for ICDB 2005, the highlight of which was an interview with Saksham Kulkarni, award-winning child actor of Pak Pak Pakaak, a heart-warming comedy film, and an interview with Sir Roger Moore, who was in India recently to promote the use of iodised salt.
“It was a challenge”, says Mihir Gajjar, a student in ninth grade. “In just eight days we had to produce our own programme. So for six hours a day we tried to learn all that we could. But even after reaching home, we would refer to our notes and practice.”
Meena Gokhale Pansare, the channel’s producer, said it was worth the effort. Children, for one, realized the importance of serious viewing. To be able to view programmes critically is the first step in media appreciation. They have also experienced the kind of creativity, commitment and teamwork that is required in programming. According to her, while many schools do have extra-curricular activities, workshops on television arts, painting and theatre would help in a better understanding and appreciation of media.
Rahul Phonde, a student of Grade IX, said he would always remember his role as a “floor manager” for a day. “I had no idea of the effort required in getting one good shot. I would like to make films on issues like superstition and corruption. Maybe, like Saksham’s, my dreams too would come true.”
Radio listeners in Bhopal, the capital city of the state of Madhya Pradesh, were pleasantly surprised to find children anchoring some of their favourite early morning programmes, including regional news. More than 125 students from Bhopal were involved in the ICDB media event.
“I had no idea of the effort required in getting one good shot. I would like to make films on issues like superstition and corruption."
All programmes broadcast by All India Radio – Cuttack, in the state of Orissa, during their morning and evening transmission were presented by children. In Bhubaneswar the television network aired a special program on ICDB presented by children, with inputs from children. Three major newspapers brought out a full page colour supplement on ICDB with contributions from 200 child reporters and students from various schools.
In the state of Andhra Pradesh, 25 school children from various schools in Hyderabad were given 15 days extensive training in film making, scripting , camera handling etc., at the end of which they made three short films on HIV- AIDS, Girl Child , and one on the lives of local cricketers.These films were shown on Hyderabad television network in a 2 hour interactive telecast where they shared their experience of the making of the films.
The International Children's Day of Broadcasting was launched in 1992 to provide children an opportunity to be seen and heard on airwaves. It is now celebrated around the world on Second Sunday of December every year.