Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

“Kina Udcha Sabunman”: A Short Interview with One of the Makers

By Ruby Shrestha

Picture: Video by Help Nepal Today, "Kina Udcha Sabunman" Snapshot By: DWIT News

This is a follow-up article related to the article posted in our previous issue.

After having read the article in the link above, I was inquisitive to get answers to certain questions related to “Kina Udcha Sabunman”, a Nepali video that has been popular on the web for almost a month now. I couldn’t get answers to those questions from secondary sources. Hence, I decided to ask the makers themselves.

Here are the answers from Paul J. de Ridder on the questions that were asked:

Why did you choose the "washing hands" theme and what was your objective? How did you reach that objective?

We came to the hand washing theme after talking to a few doctors in Nepal. However, first we shelved the idea and focused on other stuff. We were first planning to do a TV-programme about rebuilding houses. However, the Nepalese government was not interested in collaborating as they were preparing their own campaign. Oxfam then suggested focusing on hand washing as after the earthquakes, a lot of schools stopped and kids were not getting the right education about hygiene. Apart from that, there are still a lot of child deaths because of bad hygiene in Nepal. We were then determined that our objective should be an entertaining way of teaching and encouraging kids to wash hands. It should be real entertainment, not another educational song. We also hope that our song can help to lower child mortality rates.

Do you think your objective is fulfilled?

I think so. However, we'll have to see what the long-term impact is.

Is the video just on web or does it gets shown in the television as well? If not, why only online? If you use television to show the video, it will have an impact on a larger audience and it is nice as well, so why not?

It is just online for now. We hope it will be aired at some point on TV. However, due to Nepal government rules, it will probably only be online. The government wanted us to change some parts of the song and some words. We waited for feedback from them for 2 months, when they finally did let us know we were 2 days before World Handwashing Day. Hence, any changes would come too late. We hope that in all their wisdom they will still agree to the current version and allow it to be aired. What do you think?

(My response to him was “Certainly! As far as I think they’ll allow the current version to be aired. It is awesome!”)

The effort that they have put into the video is worthy of appreciation and their motive is genuine. I wish them all the best for their future activities.