Doordarshan's show Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon becomes world's most watched TV show, say makers
Indian television show Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon, which airs on Doordarshan has become one of the most watched TV shows in the world, with a viewership of over 400 million across 50 countries, the producer of the show claims, as per a report by Hindustan Times.
The show, launched in 2014, has already had a run for two seasons, completing over 170 episodes. It has been translated into 14 languages and is broadcast on 240 radio channels as well as over the Internet. The third season's filming is on the way, suggests the report by the newspaper.
This television show is aimed at targeting social issues like gender discrimination, child marriage, domestic violence, and extends to protecting women's rights and understanding issues pertaining to them in a patriarchal society.
The show has been partly funded by UK foreign aid (Department for International Development) and conceptualised by the Population Foundation of India, an NGO that works towards promoting gender-sensitive population policies and programmes, as stated on the NGO's website.
Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon is the story of a young woman named Sneha Mathur (played on-screen by Meinal Vaishnav), who is a doctor by profession, and how she quits her job in Mumbai to go to her native village Pratappur and work there. She comes across many challenges and addresses various taboos like menstruation, contraceptives and masturbation. Through this show, the audience vicariously sees and understands the plagues of the society around them and how they need to be looked at and dealt with.
According to a report by The Guardian, the makers of the show spent an entire year travelling across the country's rural parts and researched the social problems that exist and plague the country, more notably the villages.
Poonam Muttreja, executive director of Population Foundation of India and mastermind behind the show talks about how she was inspired by the South African TV show, Soul City, which showed a similar portrayal of societal issues that led to a downfall of HIV-affected cases among women. Speaking to The Guardian she said, "It showed that entertainment education, if done well, can very quickly change social norms, and then lead to behavioural change... Our estimate was that we would get 250 calls a day,” she talks about a hotline they had created for viewers feedback, “First day, first show, we got 7000 calls within one hour. Within two hours, our switchboard collapsed.”
Directed by Firoz Abbas Khan, renowned theatre director with plays like Tumhari Amrita, Mahatma vs. Gandhi and much recently Mughal-e-Azam to his credit, the show has been endorsed by celebrities like Sharmila Tagore, Shabana Azmi, Farhan Akhtar and Soha Ali Khan. Farhan Akhtar's organisation MARD had collaborated with the show during its second season where Akhtar appeared in 32 episodes as the narrator of the show, a report by indiatoday.in says.