Established in 1998, BBC Media Action is the international charity of the BBC. Working with media and communication to help reduce poverty and support people in understanding their rights, our aim is to inform, connect and inspire people around the world. BBC Media Action reaches some 100 million people across Asia, Africa and the Middle East and Europe, through both legacy and new media platforms - television, radio, print, outdoor, outreach, and of course, digital – both online and mobile. Our projects and programmes save lives, protect livelihoods, counter misinformation, challenge prejudice and build democracy. Using a human centred design approach, BBC Media Action’s work is rooted in evidence, powered by insights, and leverages impact-tested, scalable, big ideas to create social and behaviour change.
In India, over the past two decades, BBC Media Action has delivered impact in health (HIV prevention, tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment, reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health), sanitation, gender equity, climate change and the prevention of bonded labour.
While India has made huge leaps forward in tackling sanitation in the country since 2014, only a third of urban Indian homes are connected to sewer systems and almost 38% rely on on-site sanitation structures such as septic tanks1. There is hence an urgent need to start tackling the safe containment, disposal and treatment of faecal waste which constitute the Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) value chain. To tackle the safe containment, disposal and treatment of faecal waste and to influence sanitation behaviours related to FSM. Navrangi Re! (Nine to a Shade), a 26–episode television drama series was created to take the discussion on FSM to mainstream audiences, beyond the domain of infrastructure and technology. It was the result of an unprecedented partnership between a donor (the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), a commercial media network (Viacom18), an academic institution (Centre for Social & Behavior Change, Ashoka University), an evaluation partner (Oxford Policy Management), and a global media brand with proven social and behaviour change communication expertise (BBC Media Action). The television series was supported by a social media strategy to expand and amplify discourse on the issues raised by the show.
BBC Media Action is now developing season 2 of Navrangi Re! as a web series to be disseminated through YouTube, targeting men and women in urban India .
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