Our work in India smashes gender stereotypes and builds equality, improves health, and builds awareness around important sanitation issues, with innovative, creative programming.
- Our office: Delhi
- Our areas of focus: gender equality and inclusion; health; water, sanitation and hygiene; women's economic empowerment
- Our partners: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, H&M Foundation, Government of India, Unicef
About our work
From catchy condom ringtones to the world’s first TV drama about toilet waste, our India office is a creative powerhouse – consistently delivering award-winning communication projects for over 20 years.
Our India team created the innovative mobile health services, Kilkari and Mobile Academy, which have supported millions of mothers across India to have safer pregnancies and to better care for their newborns. Initially launched in Bihar and scaled up nationally, in 2019 we successfully handed the projects over to the Government of India to deliver this lifesaving work for years to come.
Our current portfolio builds on the government's Clean India Mission, covering issues including how faecal sludge is managed to prevent water pollution and the spread of disease, and improving the lives of sanitation workers and waste collectors in the country. We’re raising awareness and encouraging people to act through viral social media content, colourful TV drama, animations, radio spots, and attention-grabbing national advertising campaigns, from our hit TV show Navrangi Re! (now in the production of its second season) to our integrated outdoor campaign Malasur, the demon of defeca.
We’ve developed mobile training modules for sanitation workers, and recently started an important social media project in Bengaluru, ‘The Invaluables’, to help shift people’s perceptions towards, and ultimately improve the lives of, the unsung heroes and critical contributors to Indian society and economy – waste-pickers.
Our digital Women’s Economic Empowerment project has worked to understand and pilot how digital technology can strengthen women’s collectives, and help them to access financial capital at scale.
Our work also tackles harmful expectations around gender roles, through our successful multimedia project, AdhaFULL (Half Full), with its myth-busting teenage stars, and a series of related eye-catching graphic novels.
- Increasing women’s digital literacy in India: what worksOur first report from the Digital Women’s Empowerment project looks at efforts to improve women’s digital literacy in India and identifies approaches that show promise of sustainability at scale.
- Making the invisible, visible with the Demon of DefecaOur Global Creative Advisor highlights why behaviour change is as important in the conversation on sanitation in India as infrastructure, and introduces our creative strategy and poo demon, Malasur.
- Read more blogs from IndiaBBC Media Action blog
Our projects in India
- Digital Women’s EmpowermentThrough research and pilot initiatives, we are working with women's collectives in India to learn how digital technology can further empower women.
- After Flushing: creatively tackling sanitation in IndiaIn a global first, our creative team in Delhi are producing a tv drama on urban sanitation supported by a bold social media intervention to get people talking about what happens after flushing. Where does it go? Find out more.
- Mobile messages giving newborn babies in India the best start in lifeKilkari is our award-winning maternal messaging service in India which helps to keep mothers healthy and give new-born babies the best possible start in life through the provision of accessible and timely health information.
- Inspiring young people through drama and discussion in IndiaAdhaFULL (Half Full) is an innovative drama and discussion programme for young people in India.
- Innovative communication to improve sanitation in IndiaFilms, a photography book and a major conference are showcasing solutions to ending open defecation, a major hazard to health in India.
- Taking it to the people: improving family health in Bihar through radio, TV and community outreachAs part of the Ananya health programme, TV adverts and a long-running radio drama entertain and inform people about family health.
- Empowering community health workers in Bihar through Mobile Academy and Mobile KunjiAs part of the Ananya health programme, pioneering mobile services provide training and on-demand audio content to 1 million health workers.
Our insight and impactUse our research library
- Can a television drama help young people challenge harmful gender norms?A summary outlining results from a mixed methods evaluation into our cross-platform media project in India, AdhaFULL.
- WEBINAR SERIES: Gender and digital healthThroughout 2021, our monthly webinar series explored digital access, its implications and impact for issues of gender, health and economic empowerment.
- How has the Mobile Kunji audio visual job aid improved family health outcomes in Bihar, India?A research summary exploring how Mobile Kunji, a multimedia service, improved family health outcomes in Bihar, India.
- Rethinking maternal and child health communication This practice briefing tells the story of the Shaping Demand and Practices project on health communication in Bihar, and its impact.
- Story from our work: Priyanka Dutt, IndiaWatch: BBC Media Action's work on using basic mobiles to improving family health in India.
- Story from our work: Anshuman Sharma, IndiaWatch how BBC Media Action supported radio programmes giving bonded labourers in India information about their rights.
Past projects and resources
- Condom is just another wordA know-it-all parrot, a kabaddi king, a condom ringtone and a puppy named Condom were all part of a mass media initiative to make condoms more acceptable to Indian men.
- Preventing bonded labour in IndiaA 16-year-old boy was rescued from bonded labour in India after his family listened to a BBC Media Action radio programme, Majboor Kisko Bola! (Who are you calling helpless!) and sought help.
- Superhero Bulgam BhaiTuberculosis is the biggest single infectious cause of death in the world. In 2012, Indian superhero Bulgam Bhai came to the rescue.