Love, sex and information/ Love, sex aur jaankaari

The first episode of the podcast focuses on desire and sexual health. Through a conversation between two young people on love, sex and desire, the podcast addresses questions, concerns and taboos related to these issues. This episode also questions shame, discomfort and awkwardness around sex in young people. Along with this, the lack of access to information related to sex and contraceptives for girls is also highlighted. Through examples of cases, the episode throws light on the gender disparity in access to technology and talks about ways in which digital technology can be used in a responsible manner.

Dreaming of marriage and motherhood / Shaadi ke sapne aur matritv

This episode talks about the institution of marriage from the point of view of girls. For most girls, marriage is not a choice or an option, it is a norm to be followed. Research findings from Project Udaya also highlight this reality which is stark for girls. The episode is a conversation between 23 year old Hussaina and Isba on their experiences of marriage and motherhood.

Education, livelihoods and opportunities/ Shiksha, rozgaar aur avsar

This podcast episode focuses on education and livelihood opportunities for young people. It also looks at the notion of freedom of choice for girls; it questions whether girls can choose their subjects, the level of education and their jobs. The high dropout rates among girls is a topic of discussion in this episode and family income, societal attitude towards girls education, and the level of education of their mothers are cited as some of the reasons for the higher number of girls dropping out of school. In this podcast, two young girls discuss their education, career and aspirations. Their own desire to study and work are also an important part of the discussion between the two besties in this episode. 

When the folks are on your side, it’s smooth sailing!/Jab mata pita ho saath toh fikr ki kya baat

This episode of My Bestie & I focusses on an aspect that isn’t explored deeply and yet remains one of the strongest shaping factors in an adolescent’s life – their relationship with their parents. In a competitive world, growing up is often laced with fears and anxieties and confusions around the battles between one’s passions and realities. “I like to dance but Papa isn’t too encouraging about it”, say besties, teenagers both, Charu & Ria in this episode, even as they both agree that they’re freer with their mothers, and can share secrets too, especially during downtime through the lockdown.

Citizenship/Nagrikta

What is the meaning of citizenship for the youth of today? What are its connections and intersections with that most important factor central to decision-making, agency? This episode of the podcasts series centred on these questions and conversations. Education and career prospects were discussed too.

Digital Media & Gender

This video is an explainer on the use and necessity of digital media in contemporary times, with a focus on the gender story here i.e. the gender gap. The pros and cons of being a user are discussed, alongwith tips and hacks on safety and security such as countering options for cyber-bullying. The arguably unparalleled impact of digital media is illustrated as a pro, while also putting forth a word of caution against its possible threats.

Nutrition & Health

The final instalment in the series, this video provides in depth information on nutrition and health. It focuses on U.P. & Bihar and includes mental and physical health. It highlights how quality nutrition impacts overall health, focusing on adolescent girls. It highlights anaemia, awareness and usage of contraceptive methods, as well as an overall understanding of health. 

Shiksha, pahunch, aur yuva, ek naye safar ki or

The first video looks at the issue of drop-out rates in formal educational systems in the concerned geographies of the study and the focus of this special series. The themes of access with sharp demarcations along gender, caste, and income level lines are illustrated in the form of exciting and attractive animation here. Project Udaya data points, such as the point about the mother’s education level affecting the child’s affirmatively, are enhanced in this retelling.

The place of government policies is brought up too, and the animation itself is driven by a solution-focussed mindset i.e. finding best ways forward to tackle and elevate the situation, as reflected in the animation title also. An investment and a personal stake by parents and caregivers is a key, under-estimated point flagged here.The translation of data points into animation so as to make the themes and issues more accessible will be further used in upcoming editions of My Bestie & I series.