NEW DELHI -- Muppets and other fun-filled activities are now being used to help children acquire healthy financial skills and behaviour under a new multimedia initiative in the city.
The "Sapna, Bachat, Udaan: Aarthik Bal, Har Parivar ka Haq" initiative is the Indian adaptation of a global programme - Dream, Save, Do: Financial Empowerment for Families begun by 'Sesame Workshop' a non-profit organisation behind 'Galli Galli Sim Sim' - the Indian adaptation of American TV series 'Sesame Street'
Along with MetLife Foundation, the initiative is set to provide engaging content featuring 'Galli Galli Sim Sim Muppets', language for discussion, and effective strategies for spending, saving, sharing and donating.
The workshops and mobile community viewings (MCV) are being held in Najafgarh area of Delhi. The initiative aims to reach 30,000 children via multiple touchpoints in the city through MCVs and workshops conducted over a period of 3 years in collaboration with implementation partners.
A core set of audio-visual, print and digital resources have been created for the initiative in Hindi language.
"The MCVs and workshops aim to improve the knowledge, language and strategies on financial empowerment, to increase the dialogue between parents and children towards making informed choices around spending, saving, sharing and to help them realize their financial and non-financial goals," says Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop in India.
A vegetable car converted into a mobile TV, travels to each street of the selected area calling out for children to watch educational and entertaining videos on financial literacy. All children gather around the TV for the MCV which is followed by workshops.
During the workshops, facilitators engage children in activities like making their own piggy bank or activities related to saving and sharing.
"Being a fun and entertaining activity for the community, the MCVs and workshops are enjoyed thoroughly by children and even adults. These activities provide parents the right vocabulary to talk to their children about financial literacy.
"It is important that young children understand the concepts of sharing, saving, delayed gratification so that they become informed and better decision makers as they grow," says Banerjee.
"Young children associate with cartoon characters and muppets. They are elated to watch their beloved muppets - Chamki, Grover, Googly come into their local street TV. They feel connected to the muppets who are also the positive role models for them.
They often emulate the muppets, hence when Chamki talks about savings and planning, they emulate her and practice the same good habits in their life," says Nagar.
7-year-old Nandini Kumari from Najafgarh, Delhi regularly participates in all the MCVs and workshops organised under the Sapna Bachat Udaan initiative, with her two younger brothers Badal (6 years) and Pratik (3 years).
Nandini shares that from the day the programme started in her neighbourhood, she has started saving money in the 'Gullak' (piggy bank). She has already saved Rs 100 and gives it to her mother for keeping it safe, so that she can use it later.
"I always used to give some pocket money to my children, but earlier they never valued money. Now my elder daughter has started saving money," says Nandini's father.
When asked the purpose of saving money, Nandini says that she would give the money to her parents so that they can save for her tuition fees.
The owners claim that the project aims to reach approximately 30,000 children in Delhi through Mobile Community Viewing (MCVs) and workshops.
"In India, the project will reach approximately 1 lakh people through community engagement in Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Delhi and over 18 million children through national television," says Nagar.
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