Recognizing a lack of culturally sensitive educational materials for iliterate / semi-literate rural populations Kalanjiyam develops innovative information, education and communication materials in Tamil to raise greater awareness and provide timely and accurate information on issues related to health and education of communities.
We have produced and developed an educational video production entitled ‘Penmai – To be a woman’ on women’s reproductive health with Dr. Gita Arjun, a leading Obstetrician and Gynecologist in Tamil Nadu and Director at E.V. Kalyani Medical Center, Chennai. Young women in our communities face a lot of vulnerabilities especially due to poor knowledge and lack of correct information on reproductive health. Surveys that we conducted in rural areas indicate that most young women are unaware of the basics of 0reproductive health including menstruation. The few sources that young women do have are often not adequate or accurate, leading to considerable misconceptions, making them ill prepared for managing their reproductive lives. To address these very issues we have developed Penmai. In Penmai Dr. Gita Arjun, very elaborately and clearly presents the most important issues that all young women and their families need to know from adolescence to menopause. The most common questions and doubts that any woman would have are addressed in this 50 minute video by Dr. Gita Arjun, in simple and easy language in Tamil.
Penmai DVD was released in October 2010 and we have been distributing free copies to NGOs, various institutions and individuals all across Tamil Nadu. Many NGOs have come to us for Penmai DVD to be used as a training material to use with rural communities. So far we have distributed more than 500 copies of Penmai DVD
Kalanjiyam released a series of TV awareness clippings ‘Ellorukkum Solluvom’, ‘let us tell everyone’ on 23rd November 2009, for bringing to the fore-front the issue of stigma and discrimination faced by those who are affected by HIV/ AIDS in our country.
In the last decade, India has achieved tremendous strides on raising awareness on HIV/ AIDS, yet even today we hear stories of HIV positive people being turned away from treatment, thrown out of their homes and neglected or shunned by their families and communities. This issue does not end here, the National AIDS Control Organization reports that there are 53,000 HIV positive children in our country (India), clearly indicative of the pressing need to ensure a society free of stigma and discrimination for our future generations.
We have conceptualized children to be the messengers to deliver the key messages in the awareness clippings. If our children are aware and are ready to accept that, all we need to do is care for those affected by HIV/ AIDS, the rest of us are likely to open our eyes to see more clearly. Some very positive issues are subtly presented / suggested in these clippings:
A parent talking to his child about HIV/ AIDS and on how to treat those affected HIV/ AIDS should be seen as yet another disease and those affected need only care and support from their communities.
When a child can accept that it is ok for her to play with a person affected by HIV, eat with them, care for them, then why can’t the rest of us? Let us listen to and follow these children, who the future of our country, for their message will help to create a safer and healthier society for all!
‘Ellorukkum Solluvom’ was released by: Dr. Suniti Solomon on November 23rd at YRG CARE premises, Taramani, Chennai and was Telecast in Sun and Kalaignar News Channels, Makkal Television and Polymer Channels on 1st December 2009.
Poor pregnancy rates due to maternal deaths and low birth weight babies which could result in disabilities later in life continue to persist in our state. While the reasons are many for poor rates of child birth, an important contributor is lack of knowledge and awareness about the basic issues and care during pregnancy.
Recognizing this as an important issue, Kalanjiyam decided to focus on developing material on pregnancy care to help get information to as many women and families across Tamil Nadu. Dr. Dr. Kamala Selvaraj who has rich expertise and vast experience in the field helped us develop Thaimei (Motherhood), a video production, on the stages of pregnancy and care required at each stage.
In Thaimei Dr. Kamala Selvaraj presents in a simple and easy to understand manner, some of the most important stages in a woman’s life, starting from when she attains menarche (comes of age) and up to pregnancy. The stages of pregnancy are presented in three phases, the first three months, 4th through 6 months, and the final stage from 7 months to delivery. In each of these phases, Dr. Kamala Selvaraj, presents the critical steps to be taken, medical tests to be done, nutrition and care required for a healthy pregnancy, and how the family needs to care and support the pregnant woman.
While Kalanjiyam has produced Thaimei, Maithri Educational and Charitable Trust has supported this effort by sponsoring copies for distribution across Tamil Nadu. Kalanjiyam is making this video available to NGO and other partners working in Tamil Nadu, to peri-urban clinics, public and private hospitals, SHGs and other women’s groups across the state.
The main objective of Thaimei 2 is to educate and inform parents, soon to be parents and communities at large, the basic concepts of child development in a manner that is simple and easy to understand. The documentary explains how children have many needs, including emotional support, intellectual stimulation and undivided love, which will promote healthy physical, emotional, social and intellectual development and ensure that they develop to their fullest potential.
Thaimei 2 presents to parents that everything we do has the potential to influence our children; for every experience, relationship with parents, family and community, the sights, sounds and smells and feelings children encounter, the challenges that children meet, will determine how healthy an individual they develop into.
Thaimei 2 documentary is divided into five one year segments covering 0 and five years. At each stage the Mrs. Latha Mangeshwari presents on the physical developmental, behavioral indicators to look for, the child’s needs and expectations, how to respond, and ample tips, do’s and don’t’s for promoting healthy psychological and social well being.
Thaimei 2 VCD is being made available free of cost to all. Thaimei 2 was developed with support of Tamil Nadu Foundation Inc., and Maithri Educational and Charitable Trust, T. Nagar, Chennai has sponsored copies for free distribution.
A very special effort to benefit children was produced in audio CD format and released as Pappara Mittai 1 and 2. In these audio CDs, one child tells another child, moral stories with music. Narrated in a simple and clear style by children, these stories are both entertaining and educative and enhances creativity and imagination in children.
Pappara mittai 1 was a great success; the release of this CD was sited on nearly 30 websites. We had numerous requests and distributed many copies of CD free of cost to all children through schools and NGOs across Tamil Nadu. The response to pappara mittai was also tremendous across India and abroad. We have received feedback from parents, teachers, principals and NGOs on the usefulness of pappara mittai for children’s learning. The part II of Pappara mittai with the same children was as a result of success of the first part. More than 3000 copies of Pappara mittai 1 and 2 have been distributed across India and worldwide.
Issues of children’s welfare, such as child labor remain as important challenges in India even today. Raising awareness through visual media is a powerful way to bring attention to the issues of importance for children, and can be used to inform different segments from families, community members to administrator and policy makers. In this context Kalanjiyam is in the process of developing a visual music album to address four important themes or issues for children: Child labor, Child education, Child health and Child motivation.
Anemia is one of the most common problems facing women and children in India as well as Tamil Nadu. In 2007, a campaign was run on the occasion of international women's day on TV and radio to bring greater attention to issue of anemia among women and children .
Kalanjiyam elicited the help of three prominent and influential women in Tamil Nadu Dr. Kamala Selvaraj, MD, DGO, Mz ArulMozhi, Advocate and Dr. I.S.Parveen Sultana,Ph.D. to raise awareness and provide information on important health issues for women and girls, through a promotional media campaign. An advertisement film was made for a total of 1. 5 minutes in which the three leading women of Tamil Nadu voiced some key messages on Anemia on camera to create awareness on anemia. This promotional was telecast throughout the day on Makkal Television on March 8th.
We developed two promotional messages/ advertisements on Anemia to be broadcast on Radio. These were aired by SURYAN FM on March 8th more than 30 times all through the day, between 10am and 5pm. During this same time, Kalanjiyam was also presented as a co-sponsor for three of the programs aired during the day, on March 8th 2007.