Asia-Pacific Child Rights Awards
Smile Foundation has won the Asia Pacific Child Rights Awards for its television campaign Choone Do Aasman, broadcasted on NDTV India. This award is instituted by CASBAA, ABU and UNICEF and is given to the best television programme produced in the Asia-Pacific region with a focus on child rights.
The award to Smile Foundation was presented in a ceremony during the ABU General Assembly. The entries for the award were received from many countries in the region, including Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand
Speaking on the occasion ABU Secretary General, Javad Mottaghi said, “Congratulations to Smile Foundation for giving voice to the dreams of some of the millions of underprivileged children in Asia-Pacific. The message of this thought-provoking journey through India is touching and hard hitting but uplifting and full of hope. It is a great example of how high quality TV programmes can change the lives of most vulnerable people and give wings to their dreams.”
Choone Do Aasman was praised by the jurors for being beautifully told, especially the way children were shown, both the protagonists and the narrators. The series was effective in bringing the audience, into the lives of the children, so that viewers were able to laugh, cry and engage with the children's stories on a more personal level than is the case in many news stories about children in slums. It also scored high points on the innovation and modernity with which each episode of the campaign was made. Each case showed the social environment of the children clearly and the children’s telling of their own stories was very powerful.
Ms. Madeline Eisner, UNICEF Regional Communication Advisor for Asia-Pacific region said, “The Asia Pacific region has seen great economic growth over the last decade, lifting millions out of poverty. Yet there is a growing gap between the rich and the poor, those whose needs are being met and those whose even basic needs remain unfulfilled. The children featured in Choone Do Aasman represent all those children who have fallen through the cracks of the region’s economic boom and bring their strengths, hopes, and incredible capacity to a wide audience.”
Talking about the rationale behind the production of the campaign, Mr. Santanu Mishra, CEO & Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “We wanted to create and showcase real life actors who are struggling everyday in search of their lost childhood. As a development organisation we felt the need to sensitize the masses about the dreams and aspirations of such children. Choone Do Aasman was an effort to seek attention of civil society groups, policy makers, corporate and other opinion makers towards ensuring rights of children irrespective of their background, class and caste.”