Doordarshan has successfully exploited its USP of widest reach particularly in remote areas to earn a hefty revenue of Rs. 130 crore by producing and airing social development programmes last year.
This substantial revenue, amounting to about 18 percent of the total commercial revenue of Doordarshan for the year 2002-03, was earned by the Development Communication Division (DCD) of Doordarshan, created in May last year.
DCD was formed to facilitate programming and publicity requirements of ministries, PSUs and corporations. According to Usha Bhasin, director DCD, Doordarshan made Rs. 55 crore alone from Rural Development Ministry last year by doing inhouse programming. Between April - August this year, Doordarshan earned another Rs. 3 crore through public awareness spots for Rural Development Ministry. And now DCD is launching an all-new campaign for the Rural Development Ministry at 21 Kendras in the form of a 10 minute Development News Magazine in different languages including Hindi.
A major initiative by DCD is a campaign comprising spots and a weekly magazine programme 'Kalyani' for the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to be launched on October 7. This news magazine on reproductive and child health issues is to be launched at Patna with the first live TV bridge between participating Kendras of Jaipur, Raipur, Patna, Ranchi, Bhopal, Guwahati, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar and Dehradun in Hindi, Assamia, Oriya and local dialects, covering more than 50 percent of the Indian population. The health magazine will be telecast every week till September 2003.
The new health magazine programme, 'Kalyani' is inspired from the on going news magazine 'Kalyani' focusing on the spread of awareness on TB, Malaria, Water-borne diseases, cancer, anti-tabacco programmes, HIV/AIDS and iodine deficiency. According to Doordarshan director general, S.Y. Quraishi, the new Kalyani series have been conceptualised and designed by Doordarshan following the phenomenal success of earlier news magazine 'Kalyani'. "The content for the highly successful Kalyani magazine programme was developed in a series of national and regional workshops with the production teams, subject experts and project directors of the concerned states. Our emphasis on field-based segments, success stories, traditional wisdom, use of folk music and dance and expert medical advice through phone-in and quiz programmes contributed to the success of this social action campaign".
Besides, the latest initiative of DCD for Health Ministry, is Adult Education and Elementary Education programme series and spots. The campaign which will be on for full one year will fetch Doordarshan a revenue of Rs. 8 crore. Doordarshan's latest campaign for RBI in the form of spots will earn the national broadcaster another Rs. 2 crore.
Doordarshan has also started a 26-part weekly series for the Ministry of Environment. Its campaign on HIV/AIDS in association with BBC is already making waves.DCD bosses are currently negotiating with Ministries of Railways, Finance, Home Affairs and National Highway Authority of India to do new social action programmes.