Chauraha is an educational program that Doordarshan telecasted. The program aimed at teaching adults who know spoken Hindi to read and write. This program was the first of its kind, not only in India but also in the world. The serial consisted of 40 episodes, in which they taught how to read and write Hindi in a fun way rather than a boring monotonous method. The program usually taught people through narratives and activities. They gave examples that made it easy for people to understand. For instance, comparison of letters was done with the shape of things that we usually find around us, as in a tap, chair, spoon, etc.
A few concepts were taught through stories such that the viewers would not find it engaging otherwise or would be difficult to understand. Thus it was not boring for the audience to learn and also it was quite easy for them to understand. The program used puppets, simple animation, narratives, clear explanations, relatable examples and interactive episodes to make the learning simplified. What is to be noted is that this program was for adults and creation of such programs and this kind had never happened earlier. They took a new path here and it turned out to be successful. The producer of this program was Sahana Khan, and the director was Suhel Farooq Khan.
The telecast of the serial happened in the year 1991. It was shot and telecasted for the Directorate of Adult Education of Government of India. Chauraha was the only program that used the medium of a TV program and technology that is used for general communication purposes, to solve the problem of illiteracy in the country. And surprisingly this program came out with unexpected results. The people who learned through Chauraha had to go through a test. UNICEF sponsored the test, several educational experts, researchers, administrators and trainers carefully constructed the question paper. 85% of the people scored more than 60%, and 48% of the people scored more than 80%.
A result like this turned out to be unexpected. It was thus clear that the people had learned with so much of dedication and the program was interactive enough to keep them engaged. The production of a TV module had never happened like this, and the success of the program is something note-worthy. Each episode runs for about 15 minutes, and the fundamental literary instructions were taught to the audience in less than 10 hours. The stipulated time for the serial happened to be 30 hours. Chauraha was also the first ever soap opera that was telecasted every day on an Indian national TV network.