On the occasion of World Health Day, People Powered Digital Narratives (PPDN) has launched an audiobook – Kuch Ankahee Baatein featuring voices of adolescent girls and boys who have experienced social stigma surrounding sexual and reproductive health and issues. Launched in partnership with Pluc TV, the audiobook is hosted by young champions: Rinku, Pinky, Kirti and Sneha.
Working with kids from a variety of states, including Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand, these teenage hosts tackle different aspects of “accepting adulthood” in each episode. “Ex: What are periods? How do you deal with peer pressure? Where do babies come from? Simple simple questions related to sexual health and well-being that often, if not always, go unanswered for most adolescents in rural India’ are among the topics discussed in the audiobooks.
The audiobook will also serve as a resource for teachers, parents and community leaders who want to build a healthy understanding and encourage conversation about these issues with children, PPDN says.
It “is their gallant effort to break down conservative societal barriers to spark conversations in living rooms and on social media to tackle topics ranging from menstruation and menstrual hygiene to early pregnancy and peer pressure,” according to PPDN.
Realizing the existence of certain issues that everyone was afraid to talk about, they recorded these stories from their communities over the course of a year. Children were also trained in mobile storytelling and how to use social media to tell their story. The audiobook trailer has been viewed more than 100,000 times on platforms such as Sharechat, Instagram, Twitter and Public, PPDN claims.
Speaking about her experience creating her first audiobook, Rinku, an 18-year-old college student from Gorakhpur, said: “We really enjoyed making each chapter because it addresses a lot of issues that we’ve seen around us, but never thought about. More girls, boys and even their families should start these conversations in their daily lives.”
“It’s important to be open to these conversations. We hope that with this audiobook, more people can learn about their sexual and reproductive health in a non-judgmental and safe way,” said Kirti, a 19-year-old student of Navi Mumbai, an episode creator of Kuch Ankahee Baatein.
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