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Capturing the imagination

Entertainment education can usher in social change. In a country like India, where traditionally entertainment has been used to educate the masses, efforts are being made to capture diverse voices. The fifth International Entertainment Education Conference, which was recently held in the Capital, focussed on women and children.

"Women and children are an important part of a community. We have to ensure that they are well taken care of. The biggest challenge that entertainment education faces is how to deliver the message in order to raise awareness to trigger reflection and behavioural change. We decided to come to India because India has a rich culture and storytelling heritage and the Bollywood film industry, a leader in entertainment education and film development," says Susan Krenn, director, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Centre for Communication Programmes.

Talking about the advantages of entertainment education, Sandra de Castro Buffington, director, Hollywood, Health and Society, USC Annenberg Norman Lear Centre, says, "Entertainment education is cost-effective . It makes learning an interesting and exciting process. One can find different ways to sustain people's interests such as through puppets, films, skits, demonstrations, gaming, etc. This format can be used to educate and entertain people on all kinds of issues."

Entertainment education is diversifying through the use of technology. "Imagination is important in any form of communication. We have moved from what was the traditional form of communication in entertainment to new channels of communication. Social sites and gaming are some of the ways to make people aware about health, gender issues, etc," says Patrick L Coleman, former deputy director, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Centre for Communication Programmes.

"India has built on its own expertise in entertainment education and it is our responsibility to empower people through this medium," concluded Ash Pachauri, founder-director , Centre for Human Progress.

Source: Times of India

Wednesday , 14   December , 2011