Kochi, Dec 3: A bright orange monkey with a smiling face, twinkly black eyes and ready wit is delighting delegates at the first Global Health Conference on Social Marketing and Franchising here.
Kitty the Monkey’s conversations on blood donation and condom use, peppered with humour, give a lighter touch to the serious issues being discussed by scientists, policymakers and experts from around the world at the three-day meet which began today.
Kitty is brought to life by ventriloquist Vinod Naranat who has been campaigning on issues of social relevance for many years now.
Since 2004, his Kitty Show with the adorable dummy has been a part of the awareness drive taken up by HLL Lifecare Limited on the use of condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. He has also campaigned on health related matters such as the value of blood donation at tens of thousands of other venues, including schools.
Kitty asks people questions that make them laugh and think; and it can do that in three languages – English, Malayalam and Tamil. Judging by their delighted response, Kitty seems to have charmed many of the foreign delegates too.
Naranat’s Kitty Show won the SAARC award in 2005 and the state government award in 2009 for the best educational programme.
The Global Health Conference on Social Marketing and Franchising is organised by HLFPPT, a not-for-profit trust, with the support of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), HLL and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). It will conclude on Thursday, December 5.