Mehreen Jabbar's child marriage drama Rehaii is set to hit the airwaves again, but this time as a radio drama.
Rehaii was Kashf Foundation's first TV project, and the NGO hopes that the drama's radio version will penetrate areas where the issue of child marriage persists the most.
Adeel Hashmi, who directs the radio version of Rehaii, says that radio is one of the "many new, modern tools to fight primitive human problems."
Rehaii, which airs on Radio Pakistan FM 101, is based on a story that not only explores the consequences of child marriages, but also touches on such themes as physical and emotional abuse as well as how social constraints limit women’s economic participation and empowerment.
Examine: Too early to wed
"There are artists who work to entertain audiences, and then there are those artists who attempt to change something in society. Rehaii brought together artists who wanted to highlight important social issues," Hashmi added.
Rehaii features the voices of Samiya Mumtaz, Saad Khalid, Azra Apa, among others.
Though laws have been passed, "early/underage marriages are still considered a normal phenomenon in most parts of Pakistan and limited data only presents a grim picture. Many cases go unreported and they are only increasing day by day," it stated in the press release.
"With many living below poverty line and those with limited resources, a child marriage is often seen as a way to provide for a daughter’s future. However, girls who marry young have higher chances of remaining poor," the statement added, saying 71% of early marriages in Pakistan take place in rural areas with stats showing that 1 in 10 girls is already a mother or is pregnant between the ages of 15 and 19.
"The issue of child marriage perpetuates the cycle of poverty and gender discrimination. It thwarts a girl’s chances of acquiring education; cuts short her childhood and personal growth and development along with endangering her health," the foundation's managing director, Roshaneh Zafar, added. "Let us not strip girls of their childhood."
"Since it is a radio drama, we developed the script from scratch making it suitable for the medium of the campaign," Ameena Qayyum, Kashf Foundations' media and communications official, told Images.
Currently, Rehaii can only be heard in Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Faisalabad and Multan, every Monday at 11.35am. The episodes are 15 minutes long, and repeat at the same time on Friday.
"Once we see the response to this radio drama, we might increase the outreach to more areas," Qayyum said, adding there might be a possibility for the drama to be launched in Sindhi as child marriages are an endemic in that province as well.
The drama's pilot episode was aired last week. The episodes are available on Kashf Foundation's Sound Cloud account after they are aired. The drama will run over a span of 30 episodes.