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Marathi web series encourages dialogue on safe sex among youth

The films, of 10-minute duration each, will cover a range of topics including safe sex, masturbation, porn addiction, decision-making abilities, seeking support for mental health issues, unwanted pregnancy, positive self image, child sexual abuse and consent.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: April 3, 2019 8:17:44 am
netflix web series safe journeys A collection of eight short films in Marathi, the web series is an initiative by Prayas Health Group, called Techno-Peer Project.

A web series, Safe Journeys, focusing on various facets of sexuality and sexual health of adolescents and youth, will be released on Wednesday as a part of an endeavour to encourage youngsters to openly talk about their sexuality with their family and peers.

A collection of eight short films in Marathi, the web series is an initiative by Prayas Health Group, called Techno-Peer Project. The films, of 10-minute duration each, will cover a range of topics including safe sex, masturbation, porn addiction, decision-making abilities, seeking support for mental health issues, unwanted pregnancy, positive self image, child sexual abuse and consent.

Anupam Barve, director of Fact and Fiction Films, said: “This idea stemmed from an ongoing research project ‘Youth in Transition’, undertaken by Prayas Health Group, which works mainly in the area of sexuality and HIV/AIDS.”

Barve, along with filmmaker Vaibhav Abnave and a team of actors and writers, had taken up the challenge to initiate a conversation on the still-taboo subject — sex. “With actors like Parna Pethe, Suvrat Joshi and Shivani Rangole on board, the whole aim of the project was to approach sexual health issues embedded within the wider issue of human sexuality,” Barve said.

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Given that adolescents and young adults find audio-visuals more appealing compared to plain, informative text, Barve said, this web series is “expected to influence some attitudinal, ideological and behavioural changes”.

Dr Ritu Parchure, one of the investigators associated with the Prayas project on ‘Youth in Transition’, said that they were trying to understand the sexual health needs of the urban young, unmarried population and had conducted a series of qualitative and quantitative interviews with 1,240 youngsters aged between 20 and 29.

“They spoke so much that it felt as if they were unburdening themselves. So as to highlight some of their concerns, we decided to go make some short films on the issues that stemmed out of this project,” she said.

Claiming that simply providing scientific knowledge to young people about sex and sexuality will not help, writer Maitreyee K said: “Instead, the sense of self-efficacy and confidence needs to be increased among the youth to enable them to maintain their sexual health.”

On Wednesday, the film Kab Kab, Jab Jab, which focuses on safe sex and health care, will be released.

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