Supporting India’s Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (universal access to education) initiative, non-profit educational organisation, Sesame Workshop, and Indian kids’ entertainment leader, Turner, have announced the production partner for ‘Sesame India’, the Indian adaptation of world-renowned children’s series ‘Sesame Street’, set to debut on Cartoon Network and POGO in 2006.
Miditech, one of India’s leading production companies, with a strong track record in creating innovative content for children in different age groups, were named producers for the series.
The team recently spent an intensive two weeks in New York to begin developing the series’ characters and sets, which will be ultimately created and built in Delhi. Miditech’s writers and puppeteers were trained by the best US-based counterparts to hone their already extensive skills.
In-studio production for the 65 half-hour episode series will begin in February 2006. India’s rich cultural diversity will also be reflected in the music and regionally produced live action and animation films.
To address the local needs of children and to ensure relevance and resonance, ‘Sesame India’ will incorporate an innovative curriculum developed by Dr Asha Singh, Head of Research, Sesame India, and other Indian educators.
In addition to teaching basic cognitive skills such as literacy, Sesame India will represent the vibrancy of India’s multi-culturalism. The series will celebrate the similarities and differences that are part of children’s every day lives.
“We are proud to have been selected as producers for an innovative new series for India’s children,” said Niret Alva, President, Miditech. “We will intimately work with two of the top media companies in the world to ensure a truly local and culturally-relevant programme that is authentic and distinct.”
Ian Diamond, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Turner Entertainment Networks Asia, said, “Having successfully shaped the kids’ television genre in India, and drawing on our decade long experience, we will push the boundaries and redefine, yet again, meaningful television for young kids in India.. The collaboration will combine the rich understanding and unique expertise of each partner to create ground breaking, premium quality content that is guaranteed to stimulate and engage young kids.”
“Sesame India will provide daily access to millions of children with quality educational content based on a curriculum determined by Indian educators with the intention of achieving measurable impact,” said Gary E Knell, Sesame Workshop President and CEO. “Our goal is to work with the most innovative partners, which we have, to educate and entertain India’s children in a culturally sensitive manner, and encourage them to laugh, learn and grow.”
In addition to the television series, educational outreach materials and activities will be developed to enhance the impact of the educational messages and to provide parents and caregivers tools to help their young children.