Ek Zindagi Aisi Bhi, ‘A Life We Aspire For’

Ek Zindagi Aisi Bhi’, A life we aspire for, is a six-episode entertainment-education radio drama series designed with the objective to promote solutions and mobilize people to action to improve air quality in Uttar Pradesh (UP), heart of India’s northern belt. The show is broadcast on 18 All India Radio stations, India’s national public broadcasting system across UP and Uttarakhand; four community radio stations including one managed by the most prestigious science institution, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. The radio shows are disseminated in schools and colleges, to encourage listenership and evoke dialogue around the issue, at the dawn of 2017 UP elections. The radio show is a part of the 100% UP Campaign designed and implemented by PCI Media Impact, New York & The Change Designers and funded by Purpose Campaigns, New York to make UP, India’s most polluted state, 100% clean. The show communicates necessary knowledge around the issue of air pollution in the region; creating accountability among stakeholders for action and flip mindsets to practice environmental consciousness & management.

Motivated participants of the listener group in Lucknow, taking self initiated action of planting a tree for a cleaner environment.

Enthusiatic students from one of the listener groups in Varanasi enact out a scene from Ek Zindagi Aisi Bhi as a part of the role playing exercise.

It is not just the story that makes the show unique, the in-built dialogue mechanisms, implementation of listener groups to create dialogue around the story across the state and qualitative monitoring & evaluation. The listener group discussions are designed considering the tenets of entertainment-education (identification, transportation, similarity etc.). Each discussion session is designed to elicit “new stories” from the listeners with integration of improv prototyping (a liberating structure similar to role playing) where participants will engage in forming stories, and solutions about conflicts presented in the story/episode. Moreover, each episodic discussion will lead participants to take “action” to improve air quality in the coming week. The actions so taken were followed up and recorded over the course of 6 weeks. Thus, making every listener group meeting, a ground for data collection.

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