VIACOM18 | How to impact through the media lens

In a time where majority stakeholders were concentrating on building infrastructure to achieve the mission of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Viacom18 utilized the weapon they knew best – storytelling to create lasting impact in a society that has long been captured by the screen.

The Viacom18 story

With the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission, availability and access to toilets had improved tremendously. But social and behavioural change communication were far from implementation questioning the long-term adoption of infrastructure usage. Lack of sanitation has many rippling effects. 

The economic deprivation increases manifold when healthcare expenses and the cost of lost potential due to sickness arising from inadequate sanitation is added.

With the belief that sustained change in behaviour is at the helm of creating long term impact, Viacom18 worked with Samhita to design an intervention that aimed to address the issue of Open Defecation in Mumbai’s slums and inadequate sanitation in schools.

How did we impact 8,000+ lives

Samhita designed and implemented a community sanitation program with a focus on strong behaviour change in addition to providing basic infrastructure. Our theory of change centered around changing behavior, beliefs, and myths around toilets as a key to ensuring sustained open defecation free status in all communities and schools. The idea was to design visual messaging at key locations in slum areas, followed with awareness campaigns that brought together a social message with Viacom’s unique panache for storytelling.

Our vision of multiplying the impact by evolving the approach from infrastructure to behavioral change was distributed in 3 stages.