NEW DELHI, India – UNICEF’s innovative entertainment-education initiative, Kyunki... Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai (Because… That’s What Life Is) recently aired its 400th episode on public service broadcaster Doordarshan National. Rated Number one soap opera across all channels in the primetime slot of 8:30 P.M to 9:00 P.M for the second consecutive year by TAM (2009-2010), the show has been watched and loved by over 145 million viewers in India.
Airing over 400 episodes of social messaging is no small feat in India, where soap operas are an extremely popular form of primetime entertainment. Kyunki… with its unique blend of entertainment interwoven seamlessly with valuable messages on health and social development has turned primetime viewing on its head.
Now in its fourth season, the show has effectively covered social and behavioural issues pertaining to hygiene and sanitation, girls’ education and social exclusion, empowerment of women (gender issues), safe motherhood, immunization, child marriage, diseases such as diarrhoea, coughs and colds, and HIV (focus on prevention, treatment, care and support).
A recently conducted midterm evaluation shows significant increase in knowledge, creating favorable attitudes, as well as motivating people to take socially responsible actions in their own lives - thereby paving a way for noticeable social and behaviour change.
A first for Indian television vis-à-vis this kind of format, messaging and packaging (tackling social and behaviour change issues critical to the development of rural India), Kyunki… has gone one step ahead of social awareness and worked at inspiring viewers to adopt correct practices and be a better social being in their day to day lives.
Kyunki… is commercially viable and in line with the vision of the national broadcaster. It reaches audiences with information critical for the well being of women and children, informing them about their rights and entitlements and motivating them to seek services.
Kyunki… airs on channel Sahara One
Come February 21, cable and satellite (C&S) channel Sahara One, will telecast Kyunki….
The show will be entertaining viewers five times a week, Monday to Friday 2:30pm on Sahara One. Originally Kyunki… was being aired only in terrestrial homes through public service broadcaster Doordarshan National, but with its re-telecast on Sahara One, C&S viewers can join the brigade of 145 million Kyunki… viewers.
Kyunki… past experience on terrestrial homes has proved that the entertainment-education formula has worked in the mainstream format wherein soaps can effectively deal with serious social issues on a very pragmatic and behavioural level. And the format gets further reinforced with its re-telecast on C&S channel, Sahara One, making it a much larger playing field for social messaging.
Since TV owning households in India are increasing, more and more households are moving from the free service of the public broadcaster to paid C&S channels.
Although Kyunki… was rated No. 1 soap opera in terrestrial homes, its debut on C&S channel Sahara One will help reinforce and maximize its viewer base, spreading lifesaving and life enhancing message to a much larger audience. Partnership with Sahara One on re-telecasting Kyunki… in the afternoon time slot fulfills the long standing wish of thousands of Kyunki… Jeena fans who have repeatedly asked for an afternoon repeat telecast. That long standing wish is now a reality.
Kyunki…is all set to take C&S network by storm, to inspires and encourage not just viewers, but communities to take collective action and cognizance of child survival, health and development issues and above all to be the change.
About Kyunki... Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai
Aspirational and gripping, UNICEF’s entertainment-education television soap opera, Kyunki… Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai, (meaning Because… This is What Life Is) has been helping save lives of women and children in rural India.
A flagship of UNICEF’s Facts for Life Communication Initiative, this innovative social and behaviour change teleserial provides life-enhancing, life-saving messages critical to the welfare and survival of children and mothers, addressing many of the underlying behavioural issues that are important to India’s progress in meeting the MDG’s.
With over 400 episodes aired since its inception on World Health Day, 7th April 2008, Kyunki…Jeena has struck a unique balance between social messaging and prime-time entertainment.