This TV serial is influencing the ladies very much.An Indian soap opera that is shattering social taboos – from domestic violence and acid attacks to menstruation and child marriage – has become one of the most watched series in the world, attracting over 400 million viewers, the producer said.
Scripted to challenge deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes and gender discrimination, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon follows the story of a young woman doctor who quits her job in the city to work in her village.
Through the protagonist Sneha Mathur, viewers encounter common, but rarely challenged social practices and taboos such as sex-selective abortions and menstruation – all based on real life cases from across largely conservative India.
In one episode, Mathur’s sister is forced into late abortion of a female foetus and dies during the procedure, while in another episode another sister has acid thrown on her after she joins a mixed-sex football team.
The series also looks at teen sexuality to help adolescents to better understand the changes their bodies are undergoing and dispels social taboos that dictate that menstruation is dirty and that masturbation is unnatural.
The soap opera has completed two seasons of over 170 episodes, since it was launched in 2014 — Doordarshan says its viewership has now exceeded 400 million across 50 countries.
The brainchild behind the series, Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the charity Population Foundation of India, says the popularity of the series has been overwhelming, but even more astounding is the stories of change it has inspired.