One of the main concerns of parents during this lockdown period has been how to best explain to their kids what is going on around the world, without misinforming, alarming or scaring them about the coronavirus pandemic. With schools closed and parents busy with their own work, children may experience some kind of confusion, with many questions crossing their mind. Which is why, it is important for parents — who are their immediate source of information — to gather all resources and make sure kids understand the situation in the best way possible.
One such audio-visual platform promises to make things easier for parents. The Sesame Workshop India which, as the name suggests, brings in characters from the highly popular American educational children’s television series Sesame Street, to inform and educate kids from rural, urban and semi-urban areas. The content is being offered for free for families that are struggling with adjusting, adapting and keeping each other safe during these trying times.
Sonali Khan, the Managing Director of Sesame Workshop India tells indianexpress.com that the core programme focuses on three to eight year old kids and their caregivers. “What we are offering through government networks, through our own YouTube channels, through community radio, through television is audio-visual content. We have just released four PSAs for washing hands, maintaining distance, how to sneeze and cough, etc. These are all new things for children. They have not been in such an environment before. These are being broadcast on Zee Anmol and Zee Big Magic, as well as on our YouTube channel ‘Galli Galli Sim Sim’. In addition to that, we have our own television segments, which are being broadcast on Doordarshan,” she says.
Khan says the initiative was started on April 27, and will be a continued effort, for as long as the pandemic continues. “I think it is important to keep kids informed, to a degree where it does not add to their stress levels. We should tell them how to manage things . Children have not stepped out of their houses for close to two months now. Parents will know that their children are kept engaged with the right kind of content. It helps parents and kids with a vocabulary; right now parents are struggling, too. Our content is non-aggressive and educational,” she says.
Besides English, the audio and video content is available in 11 other regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Kashmiri, Bengali, Odia, Assamese, Gujarati and Marathi. Sesame Workshop India is also providing e-books and other activities, and the information can be found on their website.
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