With three new human characters and a new muppet, educational show ‘Gali Gali Sim Sim’ is back with an all new season aiming to reach a bigger and wider audience.
The TV show has introduced new human starcast namely Aamir, Doctor Didi, Pia Aunty who are set to engage children with stories and teach them about sharing, making friends, healthy habits and task persistence.
The characters also aim to play catalysts as adults to provide strategies to children to help them deal with emotions, conflict etc.
The show which began in a magazine format in the year 2006 has now introduced new segments like the ‘Bert and Ernie animation segment’, which focuses on pre-numeracy skills.
The 2-minute segment teaches children various pre-numeracy and number concepts like matching, classification, one to one correspondence, relational concepts, shapes and number conservation.
"We have got animation in the show. This is the seventh season and new segments have been introduced in the show," says Shaswati Banerjee, MD of Sesame Workshop India.
Another segment ‘I love Elmo’ has been conceived with a thought of helping children make meaningful connections to their everyday experiences, specifically, by providing them strategies to help them understand feelings and provide vocabulary to articulate and cope with different feelings in different situations.
The issues addressed in this section include feelings and emotions like fear, anger, jealousy, etc; coping with difficult situations like bullying or saying no; social interactions and planning.
To give the children a strong base and to build up the vocabulary and develop literacy and language skills, a new segment ‘Word on the Street’ has been introduced. The character ‘Grover’ introduces a word and meets different people to ask them the meaning and demonstrate the application of the word. The funny and interactive segment tends to educate children in a light mood.
One of the main attraction of the show is ‘Raya’- Global Wash Muppet, who has featured with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York.
Raya is the hygiene and sanitation ambassador and would be seen recommending healthy habits like wearing slippers while going, washing hands after using the toilet and washing all raw foods before eating.
Raya was introduced to the ‘Galli Galli…’ in Season 7 and is now a good friend of Chamki and Googly. She shares with Googly his love for outer space, aliens and spaceships and breaks the stereotype that girls are not interested in such things.
"We have introduced three new human characters which include Aamir, Dr Didi and Pia aunty. We have a new muppet character Raya, which is a global wash puppet. She has also featured with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to New York. Her main area of focus is health hygiene and nutrition," says Banerjee.
The show has evolved largely since its inception in 2006.
A research conducted by the makers show that since the children do not spend more time on television, so the format should be shorter and informative.
"The show has changed in a lot of ways. First it was in a magazine format but after a research we found that the kids and parents are interested in a longer format, so we changed it accordingly.
"But now after a recent research we have found that the children do not dedicate much time on television and for this reason we have emphasised on a shorter format," says Banerjee.
The show aims to address the issue of literacy, social and emotional skill building.
"Our overall focus is on literacy, social and emotional skill building. We have also tried to address the issues like child protection, bullying, education curriculum, personality building which have also been raised by the parents. We are aiming to help kids and parents articulate. Another important issue that we are dealing with is malnutrition," she said.
The show would be now available not only in Hindi but also on four south-Indian languages.
Apart from the three channels — Doordarshan, POGO and Cartoon Network, the show would also be aired on DD Girnar and DD Sahyadri.
"We have expanded our services and our show would be now aired on DD Girnar and DD Sahyadri. Also we have teamed up with SUN TV and we will now have the show in four south Indian languages," says Shaswati.
Sesame Workshop India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sesame Workshop New York, a nonprofit educational organisation that revolutionised children’s TV programming with the landmark Sesame Street.