New Delhi: From the beating of the drums to the melodious tunes, from a colorful mixture of performances and crafts to a blend of games, food fairs and religious ceremonies – that’s Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival. The festival both exposes the culture and tradition of ethnic peoples and reinforces Nagaland’s identity as a unique state in India’s federal union. But, this time, there is a unique addition to the traditional festival – health. The festival is back with its 23rd edition with a special health partner – The Birds and Bees Talk.
The Birds and Bees Talk (TBBT) programme led by Reckitt and implemented by PLAN India is a program about growing up and life skills. To empower and educate adolescents with information on sexual health, sexual risk behaviour, gender equality, and diversity, in June 2019, Reckitt announced The Birds and Bees Talk initiative, targeting four million youth and adolescents across six North Eastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) has been signed with state governments.
The programme equips adolescents with essential knowledge, attitudes and values that will help them grow into responsible and healthy adults. The Birds and Bees Talk engages adolescents, along with influencing stakeholders, such as teachers, parents, and community members. It has done so by developing an intensive curriculum around five core principles of the programme – Inclusion, Awareness, Consent, Equity and Protection.
As an official health partner of the 23rd edition of Hornbill Festival 2022 in beautiful Kisama Heritage village, Kohima, The Birds and Bees Talk programme aims to take the conversation a step ahead. Talking about the same, Gaurav Jain, Senior Vice President, South Asia, Reckitt said,
Reckitt aims to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of creating a cleaner and healthier world. Reckitt’s Economic and Social Impact initiatives contribute to 13 of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals to help people in India lead healthier and more hygienic lives. Northeast India is a strategically important region for us to make a significant difference to the health of the country. Our collaboration with the prestigious Hornbill Festival is our way of ensuring that our vision of One Health, One Planet, One Future is taken forward by the young adults and youth in the Northeast.
Temjen Imna Along, Minister Higher Education and Tribal Affairs, Government of Nagaland expressed his happiness over the partnership and said,
The Land of festivals, Nagaland is proud to host the 23rd edition of Hornbill Festival and with The Birds And Bees Talk being health partner for the festival, together we stand strong for the youth of Nagaland by making their future healthier and happier.
Talking more about the partnership, Ravi Bhatnagar, Director, External Affairs & Partnerships, Reckitt- South Asia said,
We are delighted to be the ‘Purpose Partners’ at the iconic Hornbill Festival with our Durex ‘ The Birds and the Bees’ initiative. This festival which celebrates the Northeast region’s unique culture and traditions is an ideal platform for us to reach out to the youth who will enable us to create a healthier and more progressive India where we ‘Leave No One Behind’.
Leave no one behind is the central, transformative promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). And the partnership is an effort in the same direction.
The Hornbill Festival starting from December 1, which also marks World AIDS Day, will be inaugurated by Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar. There will be a 10-day exhibition by The Birds and Bees Talk Programme which will include ‘run to learn’. The marathon will be to learn about the five key things – Inclusion, Awareness, Consent, Equity and Protection.
The musical performances by artists like Andrea Tariang and band; Kediriale Iheilung; GMP Band; Ugen Bhutia; Kekhrie Ringa will add flavor to the festival.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.