A television in India has become an important part of the family now. People have all their meals along with it and also prefer to spend their free time with it. It has become a not only a source of entertainment but also relaxation. Television is now the main source of news for the people. So basically this machine has come to have a certain effect on all of us. All of us to some extent are influenced by it, the kind of soap operas that come etc.
A few years earlier the television experienced a change from the completely fictional tv shows of saas bahu and their story to some reality. Maybe this was a genuine effort to show the masses the reality and to make them aware or maybe a try to improve the trps. This was started by a channel called colors which had just started then. All the show on this channel though were fictional but had an element of truth in them. These show showed India the reality of their country and the condition of women in different sections of our very own society. Also at the end of every show, they gave away a message or a thought for people to consider and ponder upon. There were various shows like Balika Vadhu, Na aana iss desh laddo etc.
Balika Vadhu was a show about child marriage and how the girl child has to suffer because of such traditions. It focuses on the ordeals a young girl has to face when she is married at such a young age. At an age where she is supposed to go to school and to play around, she is married off and is expected to cook meals and help in the household chores. Neither is she mentally or physically prepared for it. At such a young age she is given so much responsibility that she can’t handle. This show shows us how a young girl deals with such situations. This still actually takes place in the rural areas of our country where child marriage takes away the innocence of young girls like Anandi. And at the same time they also show the conditions of women in the society. The way the wives are treated as inferior and that their opinions are not taken into consideration at all. They are just meant to be seen and not heard.
This show also focuses on the deplorable conditions of widows in our society. The widows are treated with contempt and are not even allowed to live with the rest of the members. They are considered as bad luck for the family and are called names and even abused in certain conditions. The show explores the life of women as daughters, mothers, wives and widows in detail and show the reality.
The other such show is Na aana is des laddo. This is about female infanticide and feticide. It shows how even today the birth of a girl child is considered bad and is mourned, whereas on the other hand if a boy is born the whole house celebrates and the entire community joins in. Even after the pleads and cries of the mother or in the case of the show even the father, the girl child is killed. The villagers put a grain of rice or wheat in the mouth of the infant girl and the girl chokes on it and dies. The girl is considered a burden for the family as it is believed that she cannot contribute to the family income and also the family will have to give dowry to get her married. So even before the girl child takes two breaths in the world she is killed. That is rather better than the torturous life full of hardships that she would have had to face. As the show progresses we see how a teacher and her daughter try to change to view of the people and discourage them from killing the girl child and their entire journey through their struggle.
There was also a show called udaan, which shows the struggle of a woman who wants to become an IAS officer. It was based on the true story of IPS Kanchan Choudhary Bhattacharya, who further went on to become the first female director general of the police. Throughout the series she faces many challenges and overcomes many hurdles, which include being neglected by her very own family after a son is born and also how she has to face gender discrimination. Not only this but she also tries to change the system and the people and motivates them to work harder.
The Indian television has knowingly unknowingly has taken a step forward in helping out the women in our society. Through such shows they are creating awareness among people from different sections of the society about the condition of women in our society. And since it is through television, a larger audience is affected and since it is though daily soaps (something that is hugely popular and watched by a large percentage of our population) it is more effective because people get to see what actually happens.