Sexuality is an integral part of human life. Children and young people have the right to receive reliable, science-based and comprehensive information about it. Yet, there is no Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) as a part of curriculum, and most schools, teachers and parents are not qualified to provide it. There is confusion and taboo on these topics, which makes it extremely challenging and stressful for children to navigate adolescence and puberty.
TBBT was conceptualized to comprehensively address the growing-up and life skills education among the youth populace. It has a two-level interactive, animated curriculum that covers critical life skills to promote the core principles of inclusion, awareness, consent, protection and equity. The curriculum was specially designed to share information in an easy and creative manner to empower them to make informed decisions about relationships and sexuality. It aims to promote healthy behaviors. TBBT curriculum was launched with PLAN India, with the support from the state governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and Nagaland. The program struck the right chord with youth and reached around two million children across the six states within two years, with an innovative, engaging curriculum to address the information gap as well as issues related to Power, Protection and Pleasure.
Future outreach is aimed at tapping another three million children across remote areas. The aim is to work towards transforming the minds of youth by keeping up with their advancements through education and awareness. The impact will more specifically be defined by a social return investment study in the long term.
It is challenging as society is bound by social reservations on freewheeling conversations on these subjects.The content has to be curated and communicated sensitively, balancing the risk of promoting sex among youth. As youngsters have short attention spans, it is difficult to engage the target group, which tends to ignore or overlook such subjects. We need ways to integrate the message through a relatable and nuanced cultural medium. Music is one of the best ways to connect with the youth as their affinity and receptiveness to it is well-known. It is able to capture and communicate the criticality of core messages in a wonderful and impactful manner. TBBT’s hummable theme song, ‘Let’s Talk About It’, helps to encourage adolescents to make informed choices.
To ensure cultural alignment and a more natural immersion, TBBT holistically celebrates special days and important health days leveraging its rich music, art, and culture. During the pride month, it promoted inclusivity and awareness about the LGBTQIA+ through three North East’s notable singers, Andrea Tariang, Asenla Jamir, and Rahul Rajkhowa.
PLAN India deploys a direct approach, unlike other traditional media where sex is talked about in euphemism. PLAN India creates purpose-driven content in the most shareable fashion using reels, carousels, videos or even leveraging influencers to create anecdotes, murals or comic videos. For visuals, we use a combination of color palettes. Our primary colors – pink, blue, purple, and red – represent freedom, trust, harmony, affection and compassion.
Richa Shukla, Education Specialist