In order to “indirectly teach the kids to love their sisters,” Afghanistan’s version of Sesame Street introduced a four-year-old character to spread that message.
According to the Agence France-Presse, Zeerak is the younger brother of an already established puppet named Zari, a school-loving girl. The show, titled Baghch-e-Simsim, also encourages children to read. As noted by the news site, girls aged 15-24 that can read and write stands at 37 percent, while boys in the same age group stand at 66 percent, the National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Center reports.
Tolo TV’s leader, Massood Sanjer, spoke on the importance of this new puppet. “People — kids and parents, who have access to TV are watching and know the brand of the character,” Sanjer said. “So it is a very good sign that people love to learn and it is great to use media as an education tool for kids.”
Baghch-e-Simsim debuted in Afghanistan in 2011 and made history by creating Zari in 2016 in an effort to promote equality.