3rd season of BBC's 'Jasoos Vijay' returns to DD on 4 September

MUMBAI: Doordarshan is capitalising on the vast terrestrial reach eas to impart the message of removing the stigma of AIDS' through the interactive detective drama series - Jasoos Vijay.

With the aim to employ television as a vehicle to campaign for the arrest the spread of HIV/AIDS, Doordarshan has announced a new season of Jasoos Vijay. on 4 September.



With the idea to educate people not only about the disease but also the sufferings of affected people. Doordarshan director of development communications, Usha Bhasin expressed satisfaction that Jasoos Vijay is going back on air at such a prime Sunday evening slot.

"The programme combines dramatic action, excellent production values, and invaluable messaging about HIV/AIDS," she said while announcing the next season of the series.

According to Bhasin, "Jasoos Vijay is aimed particularly at those viewers who rely on Doordarshan for their TV entertainment."

" The central character is himself portrayed as HIV positive, allowing the programme to address issues of the care and treatment of those living with the virus, and tackling the stigma and discrimination, as well as awareness and prevention. This messaging is extensively tested and researched before broadcast, " Bhasin added.

The audience research has been revealed that Jasoos Vijay and similar campaign has impacted viewers in a major way.

Research Revealed:

- awareness of HIV/AIDS has sharply improved

- 86% said they had learnt something new about HIV/AIDS

- 32% said they had discussed HIV/AIDS with others

- much greater willingness to seek medical advice and use condoms

- 56% said they had taken action, or intended to, as a result of the campaign



Jasoos Vijay has been identified as the key part of a pioneering campaign to use via entertainment to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS.

The series incorporates the message of HIV/AIDS awareness has been made by the BBC World Service Trust, with the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and Doordarshan.

The mass media project is funded by the British government's Department for International Development (DFID).

The earlier detective series of Jasoos Vijay reached 186 million viewers apart, is an ambassador for HIV/AIDS awareness and sexual health.

Conceived specifically as a vehicle for communicating information awareness of HIV/AIDS, the series also addresses a broad range of issues of concern to rural audiences within an entertaining and interactive drama format.

The issues covered in the series include quack doctors, superstition, gender inequality and crimes against women (domestic violence, rape, the practice of dowry).

Actor Om Puri, who is the host and sutradhar of the series, said, "Jasoos Vijay is a wonderful show that entertains the audience as well as spells out a very important message. The thriller format is perfect for the purpose - and the interactive element creates interest among the viewers as well as giving them the opportunity to participate in the show."

In the interactive series Puri who also figures as a guest star urges viewers to write in to him to seek information about AIDS. The main lead - Jasoos Vijay is played by Farhaam Khan.

The third series is being dubbed in seven regional languages; Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Oriya, Gujarati and Assamese and will be on air simultaneously to the National broadcast on DD 1 from 4 September at 8:30 pm.

BBC World Service Trust India director Andrew Whitehead said, "We are delighted to be able to support! the crucial work of NACO. The mass media has a vital role to play in promoting awareness about HIV/AIDS. "

Speaking on NACO's involvement, director general Dr S Y Quraishi, who is a former DG of Doordarshan also, said, "Jasoos Vijay has played a vital role in getting the message across to the people of this country about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention"

But such laudatory remarks have not been easy to achieve as it requires marriage of creative skills with knowledge of health communications.

"The challenge in making the series comes from having to knit together seamlessly health messaging with a detective plot and ensure it remains a thrilling programme", explains Jasoos Vijay creative director Devilka Bahl.

Having tasted success with the Jsoos Vijay, the BBC World Service Trust, along with its partners, is designing youth reality show, Haath se Haath Milaa - a new series, involving Bollywood stars in spreading the message of HIV/AIDS.

The new show is set to go on air in next few months.

The Trust is also presently completing an ambitious nationwide survey about knowledge, attitudes and practices relating to HIV/AIDS, to measure the campaign's impact.

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