Edutainment Show Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon Calls For A Cleanliness Pledge with #SwachhtaElaan

New Delhi: One of the flagship programmes of national broadcaster Doordarshan and Population Foundation of India’s popular edutainment show Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon has succeeding in bringing about impactful changes at the grassroots level through its content. In its third season, the show calls for ‘Swachhta Elaan’ – a cleanliness pledge – with the story of its protagonist Dr. Sneha Mathur leading her village in tackling issues of sanitation and hygiene.

Meinal Vaishnav who essays the role of Dr Sneha Mathur says, “While the importance of cleanliness is widely understood, it is not a practice that is wholly imbibed – leading to practices like open defecation or throwing garbage in common areas. #SwachhtaElaan calls audiences to not only understand how hygienic practices such as use of toilets are essential for healthy, disease-free living, but also inspires them to pledge towards such a life. The action of the pledge or elaan is important here.”

Director Feroz Abbas Khan, who is the creator of the show, says, “Making a pledge is a commitment towards a cause you believe in, that goes beyond watching positive behaviour of characters of the show. Changing longstanding behaviours that become social norms is very difficult. That’s why Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon uses entertainment such as a qawwali to catch people’s imagination and make it possible for them to adopt new behaviours.”

The qawwali appeals to audiences through humour and earthy messages to take steps in order to achieve better health through good sanitation and hygienic practices. You can watch the qawwali here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQ_wQpN-ivY It can also be downloaded as a ringtone here: https://mkbksh.com/swachhta-ringtone/

Early results of the impact of the show can be gauged from the calls received on the Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS). Over 13 weeks, more than 2 lakh people have called and a majority of them are leaving messages and pledges related to positive sanitation habits, with an equal share by women and men. Inspired the serial, one man left a message saying, “maine apne gharwaalo se kaha pehle shauchalay banwao, tab mai shaadi karunga. Mahilao ke liye pehle humne shauchalay banwaya, fir unko ghar mein pravesh karwaya” (I told my family to have a toilet constructed in the house before my marriage. We got the toilet constructed and then brought my wife home).

The edutainment show revolves around the inspiring journey of Dr. Sneha Mathur, a young doctor, who leaves behind her lucrative career in Mumbai and decides to work in her village. The show focuses on Dr. Sneha’s crusade to ensure the finest quality of healthcare for all. Under her leadership, village women find their voices through collective action.

This time, Population Foundation of India is supported by the REC Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce the third season of this popular edutainment show.

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