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Viacom18 and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation

Viacom18 and MTV Staying Alive Foundation unveils behaviour change campaign

January 20, 2020

In a distinct and ambitious drive to inform and educate around healthier social norms, break societal stigmas and give voice to some of the most taboo topics for young people, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, partnering with Viacom18, brings a new campaign to India in January 2020.

‘MTV Nishedh’ focuses on fostering healthier attitudes and behaviours and removing the stigma surrounding several health-related issues, including sexual reproductive health and well being, contraceptive care, tuberculosis (TB) and nutrition.

At the heart of the campaign is a 13-episode fictional series, reflecting the trials and tribulations faced by many young people in India today, using themes of love, ambition, family, and health to deliver a powerful and inspirational story. The series also aims to educate its audience and to get young people talking and seeking out more information about important and often neglected and overlooked issues.

MTV Nishedh will premiere on MTV India starting 25th January, 2020 every Saturday and Sunday at 8:00 PM and on COLORS Rishtey starting 1st February, every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 pm. MTV Nishedh will also be available anytime on VOOT.

Through funded partnerships with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and The Centre for Social and Behaviour Change, Ashoka University along with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this ground-breaking campaign weaves in messaging around sexual reproductive health and wellbeing, contraceptive care and options, consent, preventing teenage pregnancy and reducing stigma around abortion, into its world, characters and stories. An educational grant from Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. has enabled the campaign to integrate messaging around the realities of TB in India – which has the world’s highest burden of this airborne disease – so young people can better understand the signs and symptoms of the disease and help reduce the stigma that is too often associated with it. With UNICEF India, MTV Nishedh will also raise awareness around the importance of nutrition for adolescent girls, with a focus on anemia.  

Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO and MD, Viacom18 said, “I’ve always believed that doing good is good for business. We have, since inception, created content on social causes and built a successful broadcast business around it – from BalikaVadhu to Shakti to Laado – we have covered a gamut of socially sensitive issues through our TV content. Furthermore, through our youth brand MTV, we continue to create multimedia campaigns, over and above our TV shows, that highlight various social themes. The sheer number of social organizations and like-minded corporate who are partnering us to launch MTV Nishedh bears testimony to its scale.”

Georgia Arnold, Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Executive Producer of MTV Nishedh said, “MTV Nishedh marks an exciting point in The MTV Staying Alive Foundation’s journey. Bringing the highly successful MTV Shuga model to India facilitates young Indians to take up more space on issues affecting their everyday lives. The power of MTV Nishedh is in its reflection of real life – we engage young people in all stages of its development to ensure the stories are relatable, entertaining, and highly engaging.”

Purnima Mehrotra, Associate Director – Evidence and Learning, Center for Social and Behavior Change (CSBC), Ashoka University said, “The Centre for Social and Behaviour Change at Ashoka University has invested in the digital campaign of MTV Nishedh to encourage uptake of modern contraception among young people in India. Digital as a medium, allows the user to decide what they see, and where, as well as encourages a more reflective and thoughtful viewing experience. It creates spaces for viewers to talk candidly, especially about more sensitive issues like sex and contraception. It also provides an opportunity to connect our audience to their peers. We are excited to be a part of MTV Nishedh and hope to leverage the characters and storylines from the TV show to engage and interact more closely with our target audience, amplify the messaging and create an online space for communities of young people to come together. As an academic institution, our commitment is to learn from our projects through independent evaluation of our work.”

The show will air every Saturday and Sunday starting January 25 at 8 pm and on COLORS Rishtey from Feb 1, every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 pm.

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