Did you know that the famous Sesame Street program has an Indian version as well? It is called Galli Galli Sim Sim, and is telecast regularly on Pogo and other kids channels. The program brings about a fun way to teach primary school children basic health and hygiene practices, language pronunciation, manners and etiquette, rhymes and stories, and various other topics.
About two years back, Gram Vaani and Sesame began ideating if the TV program could be made available over radio, thus increasing its reach to lower income demography that may not have a TV set. We went even further, and discussed what if the programs could be made available on phone? Mobile phones have an outreach of 76% in poorest R4 segment of rural areas, while radio and television at just 11% and 9% respectively.
The result was a very interesting program we together ran across the Mobile Vaani network of 10 community radio stations in the Hindi belt. The stations would air the Sesame content, and also make it available on phone where kids could listen toll-free by simply placing a missed call to the number. Several engaging programs were also conducted, including a poetry competition for school children.
Read an article in The Hindu about the project.
An evaluation exercise was recently concluded and came up with very positive results. With permission from Sesame, we are reproducing some of the main results of the evaluation:
- The project has helped:
- build capacity of stations in project management and documentation
- provided new ideas for content creation for children – how to interact with children
- has helped find a new way into schools
- increased community interaction
- have gained knowledge about research methodologies
- technical know-how of new technologies, new technologies have also helped increase participation
- new programs will be created to keep children engaged, to include learning from this project
- Listenership information is primarily collected through unstructured means – through call in, letters, visits, community visits etc
- Techniques that work with children: Community segment/Radio on Telephoy and live call in were seen to be great ideas for child/community engagement
- CR stations have also reported to have helped improve time management and team skills through this project
- Some stations shared that more funding would be helpful, conference facility on GRINS is a common demand
- In addition to childrens content, content specific to demands of the community will be created
- Most CR stations shared that GGSS content will be re-broadcasted and community segments, more experts to be added, narrowcasting of episodes – post July 2013.
- All stations have shown interest in conference facility and use of Radio on Telephony.
Thanks Sesame for this opportunity to work on an exciting project. Look forward to more such interactions on Mobile Vaani.