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Pakistani Version of Sesame Street Loses Funding
June 5, 2012
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Now no one can tell you how to get to Sim Sim Hamara. That's the Pakistani version of Sesame Street, which has had its funding terminated by a U.S. development agency following allegations of "severe" financial irregularities by the Pakistani media.

The program, featuring a vivacious six-year-old girl named Rani who loves cricket and traditional Pakistani music, was supposed to air for three seasons, but lasted only seven months before the U.S. Agency for International Development terminated funding on the $20-million project. Officials at Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop, the company co-developing the show, allegedly diverted funds to pay off debts and give lucrative contracts to relatives, according to the newspaper Pakistan Today.

Nobody would confirm that a recent three-storey addition on Oscar's garbage can triggered the investigation, although Elmo was allegedly seen driving a new Lamborghini Gallardo to and from set (joking!).

In the meantime, Rafi Peer will seek alternative funding for the program, designed to promote learning in a country where one-third of primary-age school children are not in class.

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