Green Kerala Express: A Game Show for the Sustainable Set

Green Kerala Express

Have you always wanted to be on a TV game show but lack the encyclopedic knowledge of trivia to succeed? Green Kerala Express, a new game show on India’s state-owned Doordarshan network, may be for you. The show, named after the coastal state of Kerala, is a hybrid reality/game show focused on rural sustainability efforts.

So far, the program, which is being billed as “India’s first and biggest social reality game show,” has received 250 entries from residents of Kerala. Among the most interesting: a village that ditched pesticides for organic farming, a group of homes that are turning waste into biofuel, and a village that replaced all its incandescent bulbs with fluorescent models.

Projects will be selected based on filmed documentation. Those that make it onto the show will contend with judges, a jury, and an audience that can vote via text message. After 100 days of competition, one panchayat, one municipality, and one corporation will each win approximately $213,000 from the government for their green efforts. In this case, “green” is defined by the show as anything related to sustainable agriculture, water conservation, food and
social security, health, education, energy, housing, and even women’s rights.

The program is an innovative way to get a country facing overpopulation and limited resources to band together for good. But would a similar show translate well to the U.S.? A community-oriented game show might just be different enough from the slew of solo competitions on the air–i.e. Project Runway and American Idol–to take off. The Biggest Sustainer?