Sesame Workshop and Metlife Foundation Launch ‘SAPNA, BACHAT, UDAAN’, A Financial Empowerment Programme For Families in Jharkhand

Sesame Workshop in India, the organization behind Galli Galli Sim Sim (the Indian adaptation of Sesame Street) and MetLife Foundation recently launched a new multi-media initiative in Jharkhand called Sapna, Bachat, Udaan: Aarthik Bal, Har Parivar ka Haq. This initiative is the Indian adaptation of the global programme Dream, Save, Do: Financial Empowerment for Families. The programme focuses on young children with the intention to help them acquire healthy financial skills and behaviour. The programme will provide engaging content featuring the Galli Galli Sim Sim Muppets, language for discussion, and effective strategies for spending, saving, sharing and donating.

Supported by MetLife Foundation, a series of workshops are currently being held in the following districts in Jharkhand – Bokaro, Giridhi, Deogarh, Ramgarh and Hazaribagh. So far, the initiative has reached more than 50,000 women and children through various workshops and activities conducted in partnership with implementation partners – SUPPORT, NEEDS and Meljol.

In India, Sapna, Bachat, Udaan it will reach approximately 1.7 million people through community engagement in Rajasthan, Delhi and Jharkhand and over 18 million children through national television. A core set of audio-visual, print and digital resources have been created for the initiative in Hindi language.

“Both MetLife Foundation and Sesame Workshop have long histories of supporting the communities in which we work. Our goal is to ensure that families have access to the knowledge which will put them on the path to financial security,” said Tarun Chugh, Managing Director & CEO, PNB MetLife. “In India, our broader corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on education for underprivileged children. Through our various CSR initiatives, including Sapna, Bachat, Udaan, we hope to create a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged children in the communities in which we operate.”

The workshops organised in Jharkhand aim to improve the knowledge, language and strategies on financial empowerment, to increase the dialogue between parents and children towards making informed choices around spending, saving, sharing and to help them realize their financial and non-financial goals. Being a fun and entertaining activity for the community, the workshops are enjoyed thoroughly by children and even adults. These activities provide parents with a vocabulary to talk with their children about financial empowerment. During these workshops, children and their caregivers watch Galli Galli Sim Sim episodes, stories, and songs and play games that help them understand topics like saving, planning, needs vs wants, delayed gratification, etc.

“Being smart means knowing so much more than letters and numbers. It means knowing how to solve problems and to think creatively. Through the Sapna, Bachat, Udaan initiative we aim to provide families access to the strategies and skills related to financial inclusion. Our approach is to incorporate financial empowerment-related activities in daily routines and practices, facilitate open communication and interaction between children and adults. Through various workshops we will provide information that helps families and children be better prepared for the future and potential setbacks.” said Sashwati Banerjee, Managing Director, Sesame Workshop in India.

Stories of change from the villages of Jharkhand have been very encouraging. Saurav, a 7-year old boy who lives in Shikhar Nawadih village of Deogarh, Jharkhand is full of energy and would often cut classes at school. Attending school was a burden for him. But now his routine is not the same. When Sapna, Bachat, Udaan workshops started in his village, he found them very interesting. He particularly liked watching the videos and actively participated in the games and activities conducted. He was often found seated in the front row at these sessions. His parents and teachers can see and feel the change in his behaviour and attitude, he goes to school regularly now.  He has started saving the pocket money which he receives from his parents and often talks to them about his savings.

Another story is of Sonali Kumari who lives in Bongabar village in Ramgarh, Jharkhand. Like most children, Sonali loves to eat chocolates and play with toys. She was often very demanding for her toys and chocolates. Sonali started attending the Sapna, Bachat, Udaan workshops. She liked playing the ‘Sikke Ki Yatra’ game and watched videos and episodes about savings. Her mother has witnessed a marked change in Sonali’s behavioural pattern. Her demands for toys and chocolates have reduced. She has started recognizing the value of money and also talks to her mother about money and savings.

The ability to make careful choices, plan, and save is essential for positive health, education, and overall life outcomes. As with so many other critical life skills, establishing a foundation for these abilities in the earliest years is essential to build positive lifelong habits. Most individuals and families face economic uncertainties and challenges. Among them, an estimated 2 billion people worldwide are particularly vulnerable because of low-income and lack of capacity to access affordable, safe financial services and products to help manage day to day expenses, respond to the unexpected, and save for the future. In India, approximately 98% of the previously unbanked households with no-frills bank accounts have already been covered – under the Jan Dhan Yojana. The challenge now is to make sure that the families improve their livelihoods and secure the future for their children.

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 About MetLife Foundation:

MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2015, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $700 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. For more information, visit www.metlife.org.

About PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited:

PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) is a joint venture between MetLife International Holdings Inc. (MIHI), Punjab National Bank Limited (PNB), Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited (JKB), M. Pallonji and Company Private Limited and other private investors, with MIHI and PNB being the majority shareholders. PNB MetLife was previously known as MetLife India Insurance Company Limited and has been present in India since 2001. For more information, visit www.pnbmetlife.com.

About Sesame Workshop in India:

Sesame Workshop in India, the organization behind Galli Galli Sim Sim, uses the power of media to help children reach their highest potential. Our content aims to facilitate young Indian children’s basic academic and life skills, while celebrating India’s rich cultural diversity, in order to promote their overall cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development. Galli Galli Sim Sim, Sesame Workshop’s flagship television series, has been watched by over 100 million children since its debut in 20061 and its educational messages have been extended through community radio stations, extensive community outreach, and applications on new and emerging media. Recently we have entered the school education space through the launch of Sesame Schoolhouse whose curriculum and methodology integrates hands-on project-based learning, with creative approaches to foster critical thinking and problem solving, laying a strong foundation to promote lifelong learning.

 Sesame Workshop in India is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sesame Workshop New York, the non-profit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.

For more information, please contact:

Jigyasa Nawani

+91 9873019224

Jigyasa.nawani@sesame.org

[1] Turner-KPMG Report, Season 1-5