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Gyaner Aalo Zindabad

Caller Responses | Analysis | FAQ
survey by SAERMS

    Gyaner Alo Zindabad was aired on AIR FM every Sunday from the 8th of April 2001 to 24th June 2001. This was a 12-episode radio programme in Bengali, of half an hour duration targeted at young people to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.


      The series won the RAPA Award in March 2002.

The Programme was conceived and created by Thoughtshop Foundation, and supported by State AIDS Prevention and Control Society and Department for International Development UK

    Every episode of the series dwelt upon a different aspect of HIV/AIDS. Six young people from different schools and organisations participated in every show.

Listeners were offered the additional service of using the Thoughtshop Foundation help line Askline 2417 6128 between 1 and 5 pm, Mondays through Fridays. Here they could call and clarify their doubts and questions. These calls were kept confidential and helped us get an idea of the impact the programme was making.

Impact of the programme
Over 350 calls were received from April 8th to July 1st, 2001 between 1 and 5 PM every weekday on the Askline. 86% of the callers were males. 13% of the callers were women.
more on caller responses

    Issues Covered

    1.Introduction and basic facts on HIV/AIDS
    2.Role of parents in imparting sex education and HIV/AIDS education
    3.Blood and HIV
    4.Drugs and HIV
    5.Safe sex and HIV
    6.HIV and Motherhood
    7.How HIV is not transmitted
    8.Testing for HIV
    9.Treatment and Caring for people with HIV/AIDS
    10.AIDS and the workplace
    11.Rights of people with HIV
    12.Living with HIV/AIDS

    72 students participated in the show. The participants came from varied backgrounds, Bengali medium schools, to elite English medium schools. From districts and non-government organisations.

    The student groups were first given an orientation on HIV/AIDS; made comfortable with the subject and its terminology before the actual recording took place.
    All the boys and girls were between 14 to 19 years of age.

    Caller Responses

    What was apparent from the response to the programme that though people may have heard a little bit about HIV/ AIDS they still had many gray areas, which they used the call in service to clarify.

    Even basic information like the modes of transmission required to be clarified. Many callers/listeners wanted reassurance about whether certain behaviours practiced by them were safe or unsafe, indicating that they realized that this was not something that only happened to other people.

    Callers also showed great disbelief that there was no way of telling just by appearances whether a person is infected or not.

    A number of myths still exist and people do not have places to go for accurate information.

    A number of calls were received from people who found the programme entertaining as well as informative. The Askline service was greatly utilised and was extremely helpful in addressing people's anxieties and queries.

    Many listeners expressed disappointment at having had missed the first few episodes and requested a re run of the programme. It would be useful to have the programme aired again after a few months.

    Analysis of Caller Responses

Age group



19 %







    Up to 50% of the calls were from young people in the age group of 13 to 20 years.

    Of these 30% of the calls were from college students in the age group of 18 to 20 years.

    56% of the callers were from districts around Calcutta like Hoogly, Howrah, Burdwan, Nadia, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas.

    Frequently Asked Questions on the Askline, following the Radio Programme.


What are the modes of transmission?


What are the symptoms of HIV? How can one tell if one is infected?


How/ where does one test for HIV?


Is there no cure?


What is the treatment for HIV/AIDS?


How can one find out if a prospective marriage partner is infected with HIV?


What is the risk of infection if I have had a sexual relationship with commercial sex workers/ other partners?


Is it possible to be infected with HIV through razors, syringes?


Can one get infected by sharing towels or food?


Can one get infected through mosquito bites?


What are the symptoms of STD?


How are STDs treated?


How reliable are condoms against HIV/STDs?


What is the correct way to use a condom?

    An independent study carried out by the South Asia and Europe Radio Monitoring Service to assess the impact of the programme came up with the following points.

    The survey was conducted among school students in Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Hoogly and Burdwan.
    41% of the respondents were students from class VIII-IX.
    42% of the respondents were students from class X- XII.
    60% were males and 40% were females.

    Of the 471 respondents, 70% found the programme very good. 15% found the programme good. 5% said it was okay and less than 1% felt it was unnecessary.

    89% had not received similar information from any other source.
    80% of the respondents listened to the programme with other people. Friends were the most common listening partners followed by mothers, siblings and fathers.
    93% of the respondents did not find any one objecting to their listening. 7% found their mothers and fathers opposing their listening.
    96% of the students showed enthusiasm at the idea of participating in such programmes if conducted in their schools. 82% also said they would not mind having their parents participate in such discussions.

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