Oct 10, 2012
GalliGalliSimSim, the Indian version of world renowned educational children’s series Sesame Street, is now increasing its impact and reach to families in North and Central India with its radiophone project.
Supported by Schwab Charitable Fund, the Galli Galli Sim Sim radiophone initiative aims to address the educational needs of disenfranchised children through a convergence of technologies.
The radiophone project includes a localized Galli Galli Sim Sim educational program aired on 10 community radio stations. It features 60 brand new Galli Galli Sim Sim radio episodes with a curricular focus on literacy, math and healthy habits for life. These radio episodes reach 10 community radio stations in North and Central India – Chamba & Supi (Uttarakhand), Lalitpur(Uttar Pradesh), Solan(H.P), Mewat, Ghaghas & Gurgaon(Haryana), and Orchha & Shivpuri (Madhya Pradesh), and cover an area with a population of approximately 1.4 million people over a period of 24 months.
In addition, there is a provision for educational content and interaction with the radio program through telephone and community-level advocacy to promote policy changes that improve access to services.
This unique initiative of taking education to every corner of India kicked off last year with Gurgaon ki Awaaz, Gurgaon’s popular community radio station. The program which commenced with a focus on delivering key health and educational messages to children and parents also provides community members with a platform to take up the most critical issues in their town/city.
Through this radiophone initiative, Galli Galli Sim Sim is also supporting expansion and update of Gramin Rural Interface Network System (GRINS) to these community radio stations. Training has been imparted to all radio stations to localize the Galli Galli Sim Sim radio episodes and run the GRINS applications to track calls and manage the program. In addition to this effort, this initiative also conducts events that encourage community involvement, as well as it seeks to raise public awareness and influence education through policy advocacy.
Recent data from GRINS suggests an increasing response to the GGSS program. During June to August, over 290 calls have been received at the radio stations to discuss issues raised during the GGSS program. Episodes on physical health received 97 calls and remain the current favourite amongst the listeners.
According to Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Trustee, Sesame Workshop India Trust, “Our Galli Galli Sim Sim initiative has been capitalizing on technology to teach children of rural or marginalized populations. With expansion of community radio initiative across these places, Galli Galli Sim Sim is building an innovative and sustainable model that can be replicated to bring quality early learning experiences to disadvantaged children across India. Through our initiative we also aim to create awareness among the community on Right to Education Act – roles and responsibilities of various institutions, right of the child and that of a parent.”