Community mobilization is an important strategy of the National Kala-azar Elimination Programme (NKEP) to achieve its goal. With KalaCORE support, NKEP Bangladesh introduced and scaled up several IEC/BCC activities to improve awareness of the community on Kala-azar related issues. There was a major challenge in reaching women with the available tools, due to poor participation by women at events in the community.
To address this gender gap, another community level approach was recently adopted. Gazi Gaan is traditional story telling which addresses a particular issue using rhythm and pictures at the household level in rural communities. The presenter is commonly a ‘Baul’ (member of a group of mystic minstrels from Bengal) who tells the story using acting and singing. ‘Gazi Gaan’ is well accepted in the community, especially by women and children, and has been found to be very effective in reaching women in rural communities.