Pehel, the social initiative arm of Dainik Jagran Prakashan Ltd, had recently organised a seminar on ‘Behavioural change communication and role of mass media: opportunities and challenges’. Intellectuals, NGOs and Government institutions participated in the programme. Renuka Choudhury, Minister for Women and Child Development, was the chief guest.
According to Choudhury, “Media has to focus on social relevant issues such as female foeticide and child marriages. The role of women in today’s society cannot be undermined and has to be highlighted by the media.”
The seminar provided a platform for discussion by bringing together academicians, research scientists and managers from different industrial enterprises, NGOs, Government institutions and international organisations such as UNFPA, UNDP, World Bank, CARE, HelpAge India, ICRW India, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), Prayas and Rotary International, among others.
Dignitaries like filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt; Rachid Benmessaoud, Operations Adviser, World Bank; and Surekha Subarwal, Regional Communication Adviser-South Asia, UNDP, were also present at the event to share their thoughts and views about the role of media in tackling contemporary issues.
Emphasising the role of media, Mahendra Mohan Gupta, CMD, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, said, “The media should take a more humanitarian rather than a commercial approach towards social issues.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Sanjay Gupta, CEO and Editor, Jagran Prakashan Ltd, added, “There are many instances when common people in small villages and towns have taken steps to improve quality of life and have tried to bring about social change. However, these instances are not known to the outside world and therefore should be highlighted by the media.”
The seminar also deliberated in depth on issues like experiences and learning in behaviour change communication strategies; globalisation and market forces on media; social marketing and civil society engagement; trends and ways ahead.