The 7-week mini-series is part of a 360-degree youth empowerment campaign
MTV Staying Alive Foundation has partnered with Viacom18 to launch a new campaign titled MTV Nishedh. The campaign aims to foster healthy attitude and behaviour by removing the stigma surrounding several health-related issues, including sexual reproductive health and wellbeing, contraceptive care, tuberculosis (TB) and nutrition. The campaign features a 13-episode fictional series, highlighting the trials and tribulations faced by many young people in India today. The series uses the themes of love, ambition, family and health to educate its audience regarding important and often neglected and overlooked issues. MTV has also partnered with Bhumi Pednekar to further spread the awareness.
Through funded partnerships with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University along with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this ground-breaking campaign weaves in messaging around sexual reproductive health and wellbeing, contraceptive care and options, consent, preventing teenage pregnancy and reducing stigma around abortion, into its world, characters and stories. An educational grant from Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. has enabled the campaign to integrate messaging around the realities of TB in India so that people can better understand the signs and symptoms of the disease and help reduce the stigma associated with it. With UNICEF India, MTV Nishedh will also raise awareness around the importance of nutrition for adolescent girls, with a focus on anemia.
MTV Nishedh has been adapted from The MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s health and behaviour campaign in Africa titled ‘MTV Shuga’. Based on the same model, MTV Nishedh’s 360 campaign uses storytelling to raise awareness and reduce stigma around key issues. In addition to the TV drama the campaign features a robust digital content strategy, a 15-part radio drama and peer to peer education.
Viacom18 has, since inception, created content on social causes and built a successful broadcast business around it – from Balika Vadhu to Shakti to Laado – Viacom 18 has covered a gamut of socially sensitive issues via TV content, Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO and MD, Viacom18, stated. “Through our youth brand MTV, we continue to create multimedia campaigns, over and above our TV shows, that highlight various social themes. We have explored issues as diverse as women’s empowerment to sanitation through our films like Queen and Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. This business philosophy of doing good was underscored last year when BMGF worked with us to bring forth a behaviour change content series called Navrangi Re! on the issue of Fecal Sludge Management,” he elaborated.
Georgia Arnold, executive director of The MTV Staying Alive Foundation and executive producer of MTV Nishedh said, “MTV Nishedh marks an exciting point in The MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s journey. Bringing the highly successful MTV Shuga model to India facilitates young Indians to take up more space on issues affecting their everyday lives. The power of MTV Nishedh is in its reflection of real life – we engage young people in all stages of its development to ensure the stories are relatable, entertaining, and highly engaging. Crucially, all of our content drives the audience to health services where they can receive valuable help. We believe MTV Nishedh has the potential to be a genuinely relevant cultural asset, as well as a successful public health campaign.”
According to Bhumi Pednekar, the Indian youth is going through a tremendous change be it political or social. At a time like this, it is important that they are aware of their sexual rights as well as other issues like TB and nutrition that impacts their health. Starting 25 January, the show will air every Saturday and Sunday on COLORS Rishtey.