Television

MTV Nishedh Alone Together returns, with focus on TB awareness

Tennis player Sania Mirza has come on board as cause ambassador.

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MUMBAI: Viacom18 and MTV Staying Alive Foundation, supported by an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson Services, are all set to bring back digital-only miniseries MTV Nishedh Alone Together.

The outbreak of the Covid2019 pandemic has caused new challenges for those suffering from tuberculosis (TB) across India. With over 2.7 million cases annually, India is home to the highest number of TB (Tuberculosis) patients in the world, out of which at least half a million cases go undiagnosed. Not only may TB patients and survivors face unique vulnerabilities to severe Covid2019 infection as a result of their respiratory challenges, but the pandemic has made it more challenging for them to access both medical care and social support.

To combat this, MTV Nishedh Alone Together will focus on raising awareness about TB in India among young people – who represent just under 40 per cent of all new TB cases – while stressing the importance of seeking proper diagnosis and care, especially amidst the Covid2019 pandemic. The 5-episode mini-series will stream on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook handles of MTV India and MTV Nishedh, starting every Friday, from 27 November 2020 onwards.

A digital only spin-off of MTV Nishedh, which premiered in January this year, MTV Nishedh Alone Together will see sportsperson Sania Mirza champion this important social cause and make her digital debut on the mini-series. The tennis star will be seen playing herself on the show, and joins the cast that includes Priya Chauhan, Syed Raza Ahmed, Himika Bose and Akshay Nalawade, who will also be seen in pivotal roles in the series.

Viacom18 Spokesperson said: “We believe that meaningful content, when delivered in an entertaining format to mass audiences, can go a long way in driving instrumental impact. Amidst the Covid2019 pandemic, health and wellbeing has taken forefront in our lives; however, we still choose to shy away from conversing about TB - the world’s leading infectious killer. A global modelling study has suggested that, with every month of the lockdown, TB is expected to claim an additional ~70,000 deaths in India during 2020-2025.  Thus, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate to engage our audience through entertainment on social media to create awareness of TB in the times of Covid2019.”

The MTV Nishedh campaign started in 2019 as a holistic 360-degree mass-media led intervention focussed towards increasing awareness on taboo topics facing young people in India, including TB, with support from Johnson & Johnson Services Inc., as well as other issues like sexual and reproductive health, adolescent malnutrition, women’s empowerment and consent. The campaign included MTV Nishedh, a 13-part fiction TV series on MTV; a radio drama on Red FM; and a sustained social media outreach to encourage conversations around these taboos.

A completely shot-at home series, MTV Nishedh Alone Together captures the journey of a young couple, Vicky and Megha, based in Mumbai, who brave it through the professional challenges amidst the imposed lockdown, coupled with the concerns around Vicky’s TB treatment continuation in the Covid2019 scenario. Faced with this adversity, will Megha and Vicky be able to stick together? Will Vicky receive the care and social support he needs during Covid2019? MTV Nishedh Alone Together has the answers to these questions and much more.

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