In a scenario crowded with general entertainment and news channels, standing out is not easy. That’s what Vanitha TV — the country’s first exclusive channel for women — has been seeking to achieve.

It has indeed been a challenging task, admits Raghu Eluri, CEO Vanitha TV “to carve out a niche viewing for women while [being] pitted against soaps, game shows and cinema-based programming”.

In close to five years of existence, Vanitha TV has consolidated its exclusive viewership with a series of concepts based on serious and contemporary issues as well as fun-based ones.

“We strove to create content which could challenge the fare of regular channels and at the same time kept women viewers informed, educated and make them ponder on issues of concern,” he says.

‘Helpline’ and ‘Bathku Bandi’ are two programmes on the channel which seek to reach out to women in need of support. “In a recent show, we featured the travails of a girl in need of liver transplantation and viewers responded by raising around Rs.60 lakh to help her,” he says.

Mr. Raghu, who had a long stint with Eenadu and ETV, was associated with several successful shows such as ‘Pratidhvani’ and ‘Margadarshi’ there. The channel’s chairman Narendra Chowdary and director Rama Devi of Rachana Television are also the faces behind another Bhakthi TV which, over the years, has built a reputation of its own. Mr. Raghu describes the channel as a success story; as far as ratings go it stands neck-to-neck with the news channels.

“During slots from 5 pm to 6.30 p.m., Bhakthi TV competes with news channels,” he says.