Reblog of our CEO, Rikin Gandhi’s original post for the NDTV Godrej Green Champion show, India’s first ‘green’ reality show that Digital Green is proud to be associated with
Reality television offers a world stage for anyone who aspires to become a star. The window these platforms provide into the lives of others inspires fans to pursue their dreams as they see peers dance, sing, invent, and cook their way to fame.
At Digital Green, we seek to give rural India a big stage for farmers, heroes in their own right, to learn and share with one other. We partner with government and civil society agencies that are already working with farmers, and train them to produce short videos that are by the community and for the community to exchange sustainable agricultural practices. So far, this network of partners and communities has produced more than 4,000 videos in 28 languages that have been distributed to more than 600,000 farmers across nine states in India.
The first question that farmers typically ask when they see these videos is not about the economics of a practice, but rather, what the name of the farmer featured in the video is and which village he or she is from. We wanted to see how we could extend what we witnessed in rural India to the whole of India to engage you, our viewers, to act on the environment.
Reality television features real contestants (challengers) in real situations. With Green Champion, we introduce the twist of having the challenges involve real issues in the local environment that each of us can do in our own lives. Challengers travel by bus across India to showcase the landscape of opportunities that can drive a greener India. Along the way, you will meet leaders of the environmental movement, several of whom we have directly worked with at Digital Green, to guide and ultimately judge the contestants.
I should mention that we never produced a reality television show (or in fact, any television show) before, so this seed of an idea came to life only because NDTV agreed to take it on and Godrej backed it. It has been a nearly four-year journey from the time that we conceived the idea for the show, till its premiere.
It was such a thrill to finally meet the 15 challengers. As amazing and diverse as you’ll find them to be, I could see myself in them. The show is only their and our first step. Now, the real action has to begin. Join us in the race to crown India’s first Green Champion.