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1999 - 2005


    The ASK Programme (AIDS, Sex and Knowledge for young people) began in 1995 with an interactive monthly feature in The Statesman (a leading English daily) answering young people's questions via letters on HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.

The ASK column ran for well over a year and its popularity led to its compilation into a publication called the ASK booklet, which is still popular among students.
Later, the programme evolved into the comprehensive ASK project.

ASK booklets

ASKline - 2417 6128

This was a tele-counselling service for young people, their parents and teachers. Initiated in October 1999, the Askline answered young people's questions and provided counseling every weekday.
Issues such as love relationships, sex education, self-esteem, academic stress, careers, peer pressure, HIV/AIDS/STDs, conflict with parents were some of the common issues addressed.
All calls to the helpline were documented. The rich data base has been useful for planning interventions.

    ASK counseling centre

    Issues that could not be resolved over the phone were handled face to face. Adolescents and their influencers could avail the services of a trained psychotherapist to help them work their way through their issues. The service was free for young people, Parents were required to pay a small fee.


    ASKline sticker

The Big ASK

The Big Ask was a periodical to address the concerns of young people; exploring relationships, dilemmas and offering alternatives. It began, as a bimonthly newspaper in English and Bengali. The first two issues dealt with careers and cultural gap between parents and children respectively.

While the content of the Big Ask was well received, it was not viable for us to produce and distribute it on a regular basis.

2 issues of BigASK
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