With a reach of 14 million viewers, Galli Galli Sim Sim is watched on Doordarshan’s network of channels: DD National, DD Rajasthan, DD Uttar Pradesh, DD Bihar, DD Madhya Pradesh, DD Sahyadri and DD Girnar. Speaking at the launch of the ninth edition of the series, Doordarshan Director-General Supriya Sahu said Galli Galli Sim Sim “teaches children important life lessons like executive functioning skills, health and hygiene, prosocial behaviours and much more. We are glad to take forward our partnership of past years with Galli Galli Sim Sim and create an impact through quality, age-appropriate content for children.” The series will be telecasted on DD National every Saturday morning at 10.30 am. This season, the Galli friends bring important life messages to the young audience with an aim to help them understand and practice kindness. The launch had a unique touch, with the Gallizens being the anchors and inviting various speakers on the dais.The programme will show the Gallizens dance to foot tapping songs, make new friends, add new words to their vocabulary and learn to be kind. Compassion and kindness are important values that children in India need today to accept and appreciate differences and become more sensitive to the pain and suffering of others. Multiple studies have shown that prosocial behaviours like kindness are linked to academic success in children as they enhance children’s self-regulation skills such as emotional control and capacity to pay attention, which in turn affects learning, attention and memory. When children learn to regulate their emotions and develop self-control, they are more likely to become aware of themselves and others, understand each other’s perspective and respond appropriately. That is why this season, the world famous Cookie Monster, the furry frenzied muppet, makes his debut on the Galli to show the young viewers how one can be kind to self and others through self-regulation. In order to imbibe kindness skills into their lifestyle, children need to see adults as role models practice these behaviours for them to know what it means to be kind and respectful towards others. This is where Galli Galli Sim Sim and its cast of diverse muppets play a critical role. The overlaying thread of kindness runs across the Galli, in every possible way, and in all the fun that the characters have, be it echoing kind words like ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Please’ or educating the viewers about imbibing values of inclusion, respect, empathy, and being generous. The season also introduces a new segment where Bert and Ernie take the viewers to the fairy tales land where they are seen enacting characters from the classic fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and many more. As kids visit the fantasy world, they imbibe skills of helpfulness and problem-solving. There is a fresh segment centred on friendship which reflects the colours of camaraderie shared by the characters, with an objective to build the seeds of kindness in children. All these segments of the show reinforce the values of kindness, caring, sharing and cooperation to the young viewers. Sesame Workshop India MD Sashwati Banerjee said, “Multiple studies done across the globe confirm that what kids are exposed to in the early years has a long term impact in building lifelong habits. Unfortunately, today’s kids are growing up watching age-inappropriate content on television that may be violent, male-skewed and stereotypical, and this is impacting their thought processes. It is critical to expose them to content that helps them understand and respect differences, challenge stereotypes, cultivate empathy and helps them grow smarter, stronger and kinder.” She said around 330 million children in India watch TV and around 51 per cent of them are aged two to four years, studies had shown. Hisham Mundol, country head for India at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation which funds Galli Galli Sim Sim said, “Galli Galli Sim Sim is a wonderful show that helps children improve learning and build personalities, all while having huge amounts of fun! It is the perfect companion to every parent and teacher in the country. This season, the show will address a much larger social issue of building kindness and we are proud to partner with Sesame Workshop India in this endeavour, and are grateful to Doordarshan for their support.” Alka Malhotra a Communication and Development specialist with UNICEF said group watching of children with adults should be encouraged, while Young Lives India Country Director Renu Singh said this was possible if topical issues were picked which were of relevance to all ages.