BBC World Service trust extends partnership with DD

MUMBAI: Good work will continue on state owned Doordarshan this year. The co-production partnership between the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), BBC World Service Trust (BBC WST) and Doordarshan (DD) has been extended for a year.

The move has also recieved support from the UK governments department for international development.

The partnership between the pubcaster and an independent UK charity was established to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and support through mass communications. It is under this parnership that detective series like Jasoos Vijay, the youth show Haath Se Haath Milaa and a range of TV spots designed to convey HIV/AIDS messaging, are being broadcast by DD nationally and regionally (in chosen areas, with appropriate language versions).

According to an official release, 25 new episodes of Jasoos Vijay will be produced in Hindi and five regional languages. While 25 episodes of HSHM commissioned, will see the distinctive blue and pink buses will go nationwide. Around 40 spots in Hindi and six regional languages will also be produced.

The programming created will be broadcast on DD1 till end of July 2004. The new series of Jasoos... will be on air from Sunday 4 January at 9 pm on DD 1.

The new project extension will see both programmes produced for a second run and will also extend the number of languages in which the output is broadcast.

The last run of Jasoos... reached number seven in the programme ratings and reached an estimated audience of over 150 million viewers, says a company release. Winner of this years Telly awards, in the Best Thriller section Haath Se Haath Milaa, earlier won the prestigious Unicef award from the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association for a 'vigorous and pioneering TV campaign' aimed at young people which challenged minds and changed behaviour.

The public service ads are mainly produced by DD producers, while the programmes are produced from BBC WSTs base in New Delhi using local technicians and talent and drawing on the expertise of both of its partners and the Trusts small international staff, adds the release.

According to NACO, additional secretary and project director Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, "The tripartite partnership between the National AIDS Control Organisation, Prasar Bharati and the BBC World Services Trust as co-producers has had an eventful innings. Social messaging on HIV/AIDS has been widely disseminated through the infotainment format via this partnership. These serials together with the dozen TV spots on HIV/AIDS have all combined to enhance awareness about people living with HIV and about the disease itself. There is a loosening up with more people adopting a softer, kinder approach in day to day discussion about issues relating to stigma, provisioning of care and support, services and treatment."

Doordarshan director, development and communication division, Usha Bhasin, "We are delighted to continue our successful co-production partnership with BBC WST and NACO. This division has been responsible for producing some of DDs most successful and popular programmes and this demonstrates very clearly that programmes with a social purpose can deliver levels of entertainment and production value as good as - and often better than -their competitors. Doordarshan shares with the BBC an absolute commitment to public service broadcasting of the highest quality and those of us associated with this project since its inception look forward to matching our previous achievements together in this extension year."

Says BBC World Service Trust, director India Colin Rogers, "Research has shown that our mass communications campaign has achieved significant impact in raising audience awareness of the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS particularly in the area of care and support and in removing stigma. The campaign run by this partnership is the largest of its kind in the world and is a model which is being replicated already in South East Asia and in Africa. We are very proud of our association with NACO and Doordarshan and delighted that the success of the first years output has led to their enthusiasm for continuing and expanding the project."

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