MUMBAI—Doordarshan is no longer the prim-and-propah Victorian maiden that shirks boldness. Its new show “Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon” uses “Condom Baba Ka Dhaba” to bust taboos on use of prophylactics.
The Population Foundation of India’s popular edutainment show innovates with popular entertainment formats to break stereotypes and bust myths associated with social issues. In its third season, the show talks of men’s involvement in family planning, among other issues.
As part of its counter-narrative, the show has introduced “Condom Baba Ka Dhaba,” a fictional roadside food stall where condoms of every kind are distributed free to customers. This unique concept aims to dispel the embarrassment associated with the purchase of condoms.
Executive director Poonam Muttreja said, “One of the key reasons why people refrain from buying condoms is the awkwardness and in some cases the embarrassment, associated with it. The very concept of making condoms available at a place like a ‘dhaba’ is to normalize their use. According to the National Family Health Survey 4 of 2015-2016, condoms constitute less than 12 percent of all the modern methods of contraception currently used. There is a dire need to encourage men to take equal responsibility for family planning. Introducing an element of humor into a taboo subject, ‘Condom Baba Ka Dhaba’ imagines a place to socialize where men can get condoms of their choice without any feeling of embarrassment. This ‘dhaba’ represents the change we urgently need.”
“Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon” revolves around the inspiring journey of Dr. Sneha Mathur, a young doctor, who leaves behind her lucrative career in Mumbai and decides to work in her village. The show focuses on Dr. Mathur’s crusade to ensure the finest quality of healthcare for all. Under her leadership, village women seek their rights through collective action.
With an empowering new slogan “Main Desh Ka Chehra Badal Doongee (I will change the face of the nation),” the show’s protagonist is seen tackling fresh issues, including access to hygiene, sanitation and reproductive health, especially family planning. The show has proven to be one of the flagship programs on the national broadcaster with several repeat telecasts. It has been dubbed and telecast in 13 Indian languages and aired on 216 All India Radio stations across the country in audio format.
This time, Population Foundation of India is supported by the REC Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce the third season of this popular edutainment show.