#Pocketshala is a series of Hindi audio podcasts produced by Hidden Pockets on six themes related to sexuality. The themes include issues around menstruation, sanitation, health services, bullying, growing up and relationships. These audio capsules are 3-4 minutes long story based conversations on such issues, which aim to spread information and provide an easy starter for government schools where young people have no access to any information related to sexuality.
It is a series of conversation set in the lives of young people, where spaces like schools, homes and playgrounds are the backgrounds for these conversations.
Hidden Pockets hopes that these podcasts make it easier for people to talk about issues in places, where these issues can be sensitive topics to start. These are recorded in the form of stories to make it easier for young people to enjoy and relate.
Why podcasts and not videos?
a) Podcasts are like radio stations which are created for certain section of society for a certain purpose. It can be for fun, for education and for news. Podcasts tend to use different narrative style which can be easier for children to grasp the issues and at the same time enjoy the storytelling.
We wanted these audio podcasts to be played in government schools, where the school does not have enough infrastructure. These audios can be downloaded and can be used as per the convenience of the teachers and different groups. We wanted the children to focus on the content alone and be forced to listen to these stories to engage better with the issues
b) Podcast production involved a lot of fun, learning process where we were very clear of the fact that these podcasts had to be by the young people, for the young people and of the young people. We had young participants from Roll, Camera and Action – Nisha and Arif who helped us curate the topics. We had long conversations with them regarding the issues that affected them. They were forthcoming and shared their experiences. Based on these conversations, we built on the material to build the scripts.
It was fun recording these podcasts with Painted Tree Pictures, who were our recording partners. We played these podcasts in Deepalaya Community Library. We are now playing it in government schools and other communities in Delhi.