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‘Dhuwa’, a short telefilm about air pollution resulting from open fires premiered on 1 October 2015 at Kumari Hall in Kathmandu. Dhuwa, meaning smoke, was also telecast on Nepal Television on 18 October 2015.
The 37 minutes long telefilm, produced jointly by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in partnership with MaHa Sanchar, was created in an attempt to tackle the growing problem of air pollution in Nepal. It aims to educate the public on air pollution and intends to inspire viewers to change their behaviour, which could directly help reduce air pollution and have positive effects on both the environment and the health of the public.
In September 2014, MaHa Sanchar and ICIMOD agreed to develop the telefilm on reducing air pollution. Partnering with a comedy duo was a first in ICIMOD’s long history of partnering with external agencies.
The film presents problems and solutions associated with air pollution in an easily understandable format. Mixing comedy and informative messages about atmospheric issues, the film cleverly depicts the problem in all three regions of Nepal — mountains, hills, and plains — and showcases the science without the associated jargon.
Additionally, an SMS-based survey was also conducted before and after the telefilm screening to help measure the response from viewers. Responses were sent by 470 viewers from 10 out of Nepal’s 14 zones. Results from this and future surveys will allow researchers to see if the telefilm was able to bring any lasting change to respondents’ behaviour.
Guests from the National Planning Commission, Norwegian Embassy, Department of Environment, representative from IASS and various media, and ICIMOD colleagues were invited to the premiere. Feedback from the telefilm was positive. The use of animated characters with the mix of humour brought on by the two comedians made the film both entertaining and informative.
The telefilm is available for viewing on Youtube at http://bit.ly/1GGWWMd. It has English subtitles.
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