A women-centric edutainment program by NGO Population Fund of India (PFI), which is broadcast on Doordarshan, is celebrating its outstanding success of having reached a viewership of 400 million.
Launched in 2014, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon or MKBKSH (meaning I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything) has had 131 episodes so far that have been aired over two seasons. Translated into 13 different languages, the show has also been aired on 216 AIR radio stations.
The show addresses a host of important social, gender and health issues such as sex selection, early marriage, early and repeated pregnancies, under nutrition of girls, domestic violence and sensitisation of boys.
"Never before in the history of Doordarshan has an edutainment show managed to achieve what Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon has. It has had a cumulative reach of close to 400 million plus and counting since the re-telecast is still on. These numbers include the original telecast of the two seasons, a total of 131 episodes, the telecast of the dubbed versions in 13 languages and airing the same content on 216 All India Radio stations and now the re-telecast. So the reach like I mentioned of MKBKSH has been phenomenal,” said Mukesh Sharma, Additional Director General Doordarshan.
The story of MKBKSH starts with a young doctor who leaves her lucrative career in Mumbai to work in her village. She works to improve the quality of healthcare provided to the villagers and soon becomes an inspiration for many, mostly women who begin to challenge societal norms.
PFI, which promotes gender-sensitive population policies and programmes, has collaborated with the UNFPA, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF to rebrand and promote the Government of India’s peer educator program reaching an estimated 8,00,000 peer educators.
In its second season, the show focuses on several adolescent issues mentioned in the peer program like menstruation, nightfall, early marriage, delaying first pregnancy, nutrition and mental health.
The show's success's has also prompted for it to be re-telecast on Doordarshan every day at 3:30 pm.
"When we started this show we had concerns about how the show would be looked at, but after 131 episodes and two extremely successful seasons, we realised that the response from the people has been so encouraging. It is an attempt to fight hierarchy and patriarchy at various levels and given the show’s success, we feel that the impact is being felt at the grass root level," Feroz Abbas Khan, director of MKBKSH, said.
The makers are now even contemplating a third season for the show given popularity and reach.