India, 28th March 2023: Reckitt, the global leader in consumer healthcare, today announced the expansion of The Durex Birds and Bees Talk programme (TBBT), which is directed towards adolescents between the age group – 10 to 19 Years, in the states of Gujarat and New Delhi. In partnership with ASSOCHAM Foundation For Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR), the programme aims to reach 15 million adolescents this year across the two states. To mark the expansion, the programme has also launched its theme song – ‘Protected’ which focuses on five key pillars built within the curriculum – Consent, Equity, Inclusion, Awareness and Protection.
The Durex Birds and Bees Talk programme released its first Social Return on Investment (SROI) Evaluation Study Report, highlighting that every ₹1 invested into the programme, delivers ₹24.40 in social value. Led by Plan India and Reckitt, the programme has been implemented in 6 North East States (NES) of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. Through offline and digital platforms, TBBT has reached 4 million youth till date across these states. Launched with the support of respective state governments, TBBT has a 2-level interactive, animated curriculum that covers growing up and life skills, to promote the core principles of inclusion, awareness, consent, awareness and protection.
Gaurav Jain, Executive Vice President, Reckitt, South Asia, said, “At Reckitt, we are committed to helping adolescents as they encounter a range of life-changing experiences that necessitate coping and adaptation. Over the last three years, the Durex Birds and Bees Talk programme, implemented in partnership with Plan India across North-Eastern states, has been focused on imparting growing-up life skills to adolescents and youth. The programme yields a social value of ₹24.40 for every rupee invested, which is an indicator of the trust that the programme has generated among its stakeholders and promises the possibilities of greater heights to be achieved with a solid foundation. We are positive that our partnership with AFCSR will help us replicate the success of the programme in the states of Gujarat and New Delhi and educate students, as we target to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health & Well-being), 4 (Quality Education), and 5 (Gender Equality).”
Deepak Sood, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM & Trustee, ASSOCHAM Foundation For Corporate Social Responsibility (AFCSR), said, “We are delighted to partner with Reckitt for one of their most successful programmes – The Durex Birds and Bees Talk and take it forward in various districts across Gujarat and New Delhi. As part of the programme, we aim to empower over 15Mn adolescents with the right knowledge of power, protection, and pleasure to ensure their health, well-being, and development. The programme will generate awareness amongst students about healthy behaviour, make informed decisions, knowledge about consent, and develop equity and inclusivity with the help of pop-cultural references, engaging with youth influencers and using technology for communication.”
Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, of Plan India, said, “Plan India has been working for more than two decades to improve sexual and reproductive health services and rights for all children, adolescent girls and young women and men in different parts of India. Our long-standing partnership with Reckitt has helped us create a significant impact through the TBBT programme in the states of Northeast. The programme has been successful in helping students in enhancing practices relating to safe hygiene and health and gaining a deeper understanding of body anatomy and physical changes experienced during puberty. We are happy to see the programme growing and hope to continue driving ground-level change with various partnerships.”
Key highlights from the report:
- For every ₹1 invested in The Durex Birds and The Bees Talk Programme delivers ₹24.40 of social value
- Through offline and digital platforms, TBBT has reached 4 million youth, 4000 teachers and more than 2000 schools till date.
- Through digital activation, the programme has been able to reach out to 320 million people across the nation
- 83.85% increased ability among students to recognise and address gender roles and stereotypes
- 44.41% increased awareness about harmful effects and consequences of substance abuse among students
- 84.38% increased technical knowledge regarding growing up life skills curriculum in teachers
- 57.03% acceptance of students of other sexual orientations and gender identities
- New Delhi & Guwahati became the top sources of conversations about the programme
- TBBT programme has established a strong online and offline presence. Its efforts have resulted in the programme making an 87% increase in its reach over the year and positive sentiments ahead by 50%
Rahul Rajkhowa, one of the most written about artists from Northeast India for his music addressing social and environmental issues, has created the theme song for TBBT programme to help set a strong foundation for this initiative in the states of Gujarat and New Delhi. Music has been the best source of communication since the beginning of TBBT and the newly launched song shares the crucial message of acquiring the right knowledge of power, protection and pleasure to ensure healthy development and wellbeing. Rahul has successfully brought the right mix of youth lingo along with the programme messaging, paired with a catchy beat. The song has been launched on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and will be shared with key influencers to help reach the masses.
The Durex Birds and The Bees Talk Programme under Reckitt and Plan India is an innovative and pioneering initiative that has focused on inculcating growing up life skills for adolescents in the northeastern region of India. Through its systematic intervention, the programme is encouraging conversations around sexual and reproductive health among adolescents, teachers, and their community members. Adolescent girls and boys in the country lack access to information on issues affecting their lives and have limited spaces to develop competencies crucial for their active participation. TBBT programme is addressing these challenges by imparting critical and age-appropriate information, promoting healthy and safe behaviour and practices, as well as equipping adolescents with life skills, values and attitudes to become responsible adults.