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Now, Sesame Street with Indian flavour

Galli Galli Sim Sim, the desi version of the American teleseries for kids, hits Indian TV in June.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2006 21:15 IST

The hit American teleseries for children Sesame Street is set to capture the imagination of Indian children on leading channels Cartoon Network and Pogo, but with a local flavour.

Galli Galli Sim Sim, which begins telecasting in June, was kicked off Thursday by Children's Film Society chairperson Nafisa Ali at Noida's Film City near here.

The show, produced by non-profit educational organisation Sesame Workshop, entertainment giant Turner and Delhi-based production house Miditech, is being funded by USAID.

So, instead of an American street is an Indian galli and instead of Big Elmo and Big Bird is Boombah the cuddly lion with a passion for bhangra.

Galli Galli Sim Sim represents the reality of daily life for the widest possible range of Indian children between the ages of two to eight and their families.

The story comes alive with inquisitive little Chamki, a five-year-old girl who is ever ready to explore the world with her never-ending questions. With her is Aanchoo, the storyteller, an eight-year-old who is transported to far-away places, every time she sneezes!

Based on extensive research with local educators, child development experts and artists, the muppets have Indian nuances, both in their appearance and personalities.

In addition to fostering basic cognitive and social skills, the neighbourhood friends will represent the vibrancy of India's multiculturalism, celebrating diversity that is a part of children's every day lives, said a press release.

New York-based Martin Robinson, who has played an important role in local Sesame Street productions in several countries, has trained the muppeteers here too.

Giving company to the muppets will be human characters played by several prominent Delhiites like former cop Maxwell Pereira who plays Colonel Albert Pinto, a retired army official who advocates civic sense and healthy living.

"One of our goals is to demonstrate India's rich cultural heritage and diversity on Galli Galli Sim Sim through the colourful characters, engaging storylines, wonderful music, new live action and animation films," said Niret Alva, president of Miditech and executive producer of the series.

While the show will initially be aired in Hindi, with a slight mix of English, the producers have plans of venturing into vernacular languages as well.

First Published: Feb 25, 2006 09:00 IST