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Darwaza Band: Bachchan appeals to people to shun open defecation

Amitabh Bachchan series of ads encourages behaviour change in men who have toilets but are not using them. Anushka Sharma series of ads is a clarion call for women to stand up for this issue and influence a positive change. These ads are developed by Lowe Lintas, Mumbai, under a World Bank Project

In a new series of ads featuring actors Amitabh Bachchan and Anushka Sharma, the Centre appeals to citizens of India end open defecation and use toilets. The aggressive new campaign titled 'Darwaza Band', which promotes use of toilets and freedom from open defecation across the country's villages, takes the Clean India mission to the next step.

The campaign produced by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) under Swachh Bharat Mission was launched on May 30 in the presence of Bachchan, Union Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation Narendra Singh Tomar, Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Parameswaran Iyer, and other Central and State dignitaries in Mumbai. The event was widely attended by officials from all the State Districts and selected Gram Panchayat Members.

The 'Darwaza Band' campaign has been supported by the World Bank and is being rolled out countrywide immediately after the launch. It is designed to encourage behaviour change in men who have toilets but are not using them. Part of the campaign also features actor Sharma, who will be seen encouraging women to stand up for this issue in their villages and assume a leadership role.

The Bachchan series of ads encourages behaviour change in men who have toilets but are not using them. The Sharma series of ads is a clarion call for women who are more affected by this problem to stand up for this issue in their village and influence a positive change. These have been developed by Lowe Lintas, Mumbai, under a World Bank Project.

Arun Iyer

Arun Iyer, Chairman and CCO, Lowe Lintas said, “At Lowe Lintas we did not see this as just a campaign, but an opportunity to impact our society and play a small role in the betterment of our country. We hit upon an important insight of how people go far from their home to defecate thinking they are protected. We wanted to correct this misconception and change the paradigm of their thinking from near versus far to open versus closed. Also, it was important to deliver this message not in a sombre and serious tone, but this in a light hearted way. We believe this campaign will turn out to be a critical campaign to make our country Open Defecation Free.”

Tomar said that achievement of 64 per cent open defecation free status is a tribute to the Prime Minister’s commitment. He also congratulated Maharashtra on its significant achievement of 80 per cent open defecation free status. He further said that all attempts are being made to make this into a true Jan Andolan. He said the goal for India should be to become a showcase country for cleanliness by 2019. He thanked Bachchan for his constant support.

Fadnavis thanked MDWS for choosing Maharashtra to launch the Darwaza Band campaign. He thanked Bachchan for taking on the mandate of raising awareness about cleanliness and endorsing the new campaign. He emphasised that Maharashtra is committed to become open defecation-free by March 2018.

Speaking at the event, Bachchan gave a brief background to the development of the campaign and mentioned that the campaign talks about a safe space for people to defecate. He also congratulated the state champions and assured the audience of his support to the cause of cleanliness. He assured the audience of his constant support of the Swachh Bharat Mission as and when needed.

Bachchan has been a major supporter and ambassador for the Swachh Bharat Mission and is already associated with its ongoing campaigns.

Behaviour change has been the focus of Swachh Bharat Mission, which is being pursued through a countrywide comprehensive IEC (Information-Education-Communication) programme. Communication campaigns have been taken up both, at the central and state levels, for promoting sustained use of toilets and for sustaining the open defecation free status achieved.

Iyer announced that the number of people defecating in the open has reduced from 55 crore in May 2014 to 35 crore in May 2017. He highlighted that the programme is not just a toilet construction programme but focuses on behaviour change promoting sustainable usage, at both community and village levels. In his presentation, Iyer showcased visual examples of some behaviour change communication being done at the grassroots.

Introducing the campaign, he said that it focuses on the need to shift people’s paradigm from ‘open’ to ‘closed’, especially for men.

The Union Minister and the State Chief Minister also reviewed the working of the Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) programme in Maharashtra ahead of the event. Champion functionaries from the State of Maharashtra were awarded during the event. An exhibition displaying various toilet technologies was also put up.

The Videos:

Credits:

Client Team: Sudip Mozumder, Soma Moulik, Upneet Singh, Anisha Motwane

Creative Team: Arun Iyer/ Rajesh Ramaswamy, Shiv Parameswaran, Arjun Kumar, Carlos Pereira

Account Management Team: Abhimanyu Mathur, Geetanjali Saini, Sherneur Coutinho, Planning Team: Shweta Bhatnagar

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