Kahi Ankahi Baatein
“Technology gives you the assurance – people search for answers to bizarre questions on the Internet. Technology by itself is not changing anything but gives you… satisfaction. Having easy access to information provides a lot of support to marginalised communities. We were very clear that just by providing information we are not changing anything but maybe starting conversations.”
Core group member guiding content development for the platform
Work with young people on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) has evolved as a significant development priority. Many organisations have developed Information, Education and Communication (IEC) material. However, these resources are often only available in English and many provide information in a restrained and limited manner. When resources are available in local languages, they often focus on providing technical information and are therefore difficult for young people to understand. At the same time, mass dissemination of printed materials particularly to young girls is often challenging because of the taboo that exists around SRHR topics. The infoline was conceptualised to fill these gaps.
CREA’s tech-based infoline Kahi Ankahi Baatein (Saying the Unsaid) is designed to reach out to young people in communities across Hindi-speaking states to disseminate information in short and story-telling formats in Hindi around the issues of gender, sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender based violence. The platform is run in partnership with Community Radio (CR) stations and disseminated through an IVRS (Interactive Voice Recording System).
The episodes explore a range of issues around gender, sexuality, sexual health, and gender based violence, and include topics such as virginity, condoms, break-ups, body image, gender based discrimination, gender roles and stereotypes, same sex relationships, sexual harassment, stalking, online violence and marital rape, etc.
Most of the questions asked on the info-line were around sexuality, masturbation, same sex attractions and consent. In 2018, over 30,000 calls were received every quarter with 3% of the callers identifying themselves as transgender. The infoline has become an accessible tool for providing correct information around issues that are otherwise too taboo and stigmatized to be openly discussed.