'Sesame Street' to don Indian avatar

MUMBAI: The Muppets are coming to India. The popular American TV series for kids Sesame Street is to don an Indian avatar with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The Sesame Workshop, a non-profit organisation, has been promised a grant of $500,000 (Rs 23.21 million) to design and develop the Indian version, according to a US embassy statement.

"Big Bird", the giant yellow bird that sings songs and plays games with other muppets like "Elmo", "Cookie", "Bert" and "Ernie" will all feature in the new series.

We are thrilled with the process in India and thankful for all the support," CEO of Sesame Workshop Gary E. Knell was quoted in the embassy statement as saying. "Our goal is to create engaging educational content, where there is need," he added

The programme, often touted as the most-loved kids' series in the US (arguably the world), features in over 20 countries, including Egypt and South Africa. Aimed at pre-school children, it features a variety of songs, dances, games and stories for kids.

The new programme would be developed in consultation with Indian educators, media programmers and child development experts to help localise the content, the statement says.

It would be designed specially to help children in the rural areas to laugh, learn and grow, the statement adds.

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