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Community radio to educate migrant children

Sep 30, 2011

The Sesame Workshop Trust launches its latest initiative, the Galli Galli Sim Sim Radiophone project, in a suburb of the Indian capital. Disadvantaged children from Gurgaon's migrant communities can now access health and hygiene education via broadcasts on local community radio through mobile phones or 3G downloads.

Gurgaon: School children giggle as they watch the muppets Chamki and Grover on stage, entranced by their antics. The children from a Sankalp Foundation school had gathered at the launch of the Galli Galli Sim Sim Radiophone project which aims to bring effective education to children from migrant families by non-conventional means. The unique initiative is a result of a partnership between Sesame Workshop India Trust, The Restoring Force (TRF) and HSBC.

Galli Galli Sim Sim radiophone launch

Soon the scene from the launch will be repeated in 30 classrooms across Gurgaon. Each classroom will be equipped with a mobile phone and speakers. The radio programmes will be broadcast on the TRF-run community radio station Gurgaon ki Awaaz but will also be available to download on handsets with 3G connections. Teachers will also be provided with supplementary print materials to reinforce learning. 

The aim is to provide health and hygiene education to the marginalised migrant communities that have flocked to Gurgaon because of the construction boom. “Their kids can’t access school systems because they come from a different language perspective and can’t understand [Hindi] so retention and continuity becomes very difficult” said Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Trustee of Sesame Workshop India Trust, speaking to OneWorld.

Galli Galli Sim Sim is a proven model for educational delivery in India. "With the expansion into community radio and mobile phones, we are building an innovative and sustainable model that can be replicated to bring quality, early learning experiences to disadvantaged children across India,” she added.

The Sesame Workshop is the non-profit organisation behind Sesame Street and its Indian counterpart Galli Galli Sim Sim. They work in over 120 countries worldwide as creators of innovative and engaging educational content for children from birth to age 12.

TRF, a non-profit, has been working in Gurgaon to develop educational infrastructure, provide career counselling for children, supply drinking water supply and install solar lighting in rural clusters. TRF also runs the local community radio station, Gurgaon ki Awaaz, which aims to empower the locals by giving them a platform to voice their concerns.

Galli Galli Sim Sim can be heard thrice a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) on Gurgaon ki Awaaz Samyudayik Radio (Gurgaon's Voice Community Radio Station), 107.8 FM at 9:00 in the morning and can be downloaded from their website http://mob.sesameconference.com/.

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