UNICEF celebrates 200 episodes of Kyunki... Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai.

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New Delhi, Aug.28 (ANI): UNICEF recently celebrated the telecast of the 200th episode of its entertainment education serial Kyunki... Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai on Doordarshan National.

A serial with all the emotional and dramatic twists and turns that make soaps so popular, Kyunki... has emerged as an innovative and effective agent for behavior change communication amongst Indian television viewers.

Watched by over 125 million viewers across India, the gripping social drama promotes life-enhancing, life-saving messages, critical to the welfare and survival of children and mothers everywhere.

From safe motherhood to HIV prevention, infant feeding to girls' education, Kyunki promotes prosocial attitudes, behaviours, and practices that contribute directly to the reduction of infant and maternal mortality rates

Naysan Sahba, Programme Communication Specialist at UNICEF India Country Office, who conceptualized the serial says "When we began to work on the show's concept about four years ago, at the height of the popularity of the saas-bahu sagas, everybody said impossible, there's no audience for this. Well, we went ahead, carefully if courageously, and you can imagine our delight in that not only is our show doing well but a new wave of socially conscious TV serials, serials tackling hard-hitting issues effecting women and children, have followed suit and are taking the country by storm" .

Kyunki... has a rather unique viewership including unexpected regulars in the form of youngsters and men. A favorite of many across India, the serial is one of the top rankers in its primetime spot of 8:30 PM to 9 PM and is the leading daily soap on DD National.

Not shying away from taking up socially sensitive issues such as the ill effects of child marriage and early pregnancy, gender equality, proper use of contraceptives and prevention of HIV/AIDS, Kyunki... has been a catalyst in encouraging dialogues amongst young girls and families in rural India about things that they earlier had next to no say about.

Concurrent audience research shows that there has been a consistent increase in the number of viewers who say they intend to take action as a direct result of watching Kyunki..., including informing others about the importance of education, motivating children to join school, immunizing one's own children and regularly washing hands with soap .

The serial has also become a helpful tool and an excellent reference point for frontline workers who promote positive changes in social and health behaviors through interpersonal communication. In depth interviews with health workers, teachers and other influencers has shown that Kyunki... in fact reinforces many of the same ideas they work with and introduces contemporary issues in an interesting, entertaining and practical manner. (ANI)

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