The campaign has been conceptualised by Grey India to address the dipping female ratio and empower the birth of girl child in the country
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | February 3, 2015
The Government of India has recently launched three new television campaigns under the ‘Beti Bachao’ initiative to address the falling sex ration and empower the birth if a girl child in the country. The campaign has been executed by Grey India to highlight that the mere thought of foeticide amounts to criminal offence. The commercials depict three real-life situations of a rural household, a town sonography clinic and an urban dining room, where the idea of foeticide is shown in a very positive light, as if there is nothing wrong in it.
Commenting on the idea behind the campaign, Malvika Mehra, Executive Vice-president and National Creative Director, Grey Group India, said, ‘The inhuman practice of female foeticide is rampant in our country, in even so called ‘urban homes’. It is shockingly par for the course that if there is even an ‘inkling' of the unborn child being a girl, abortion seems the only ‘normal' way out. In these three films, cutting across different strata in society, we have tried to arrest this heinous thinking to begin with, where the very matter of fact approach to killing an unborn girl child is threatened by the fear of strong judicial action, which is portrayed via handcuffs in the films because sometimes nothing works better than a threat.”
The first TVC is set against an average rural backdrop and starts with a bunch of men enjoying their cup of winter morning tea. It is then, that the phone rings and the person on the other side, confirms that news of a girl child is final after an illegal sex determination test. Post which, every male family member, tries to convince the mother-to be, who is portrayed in a very helpless situation, to abort the child. Soon a voice-over plays in the background, which reminds that the thought of female foeticide is equivalent to murder and all those guilty will be severely punished.
The second commercial which is shot inside a sonography clinic shows a mother-in-law trying to coerce the doctor into revealing the gender of her pregnant daughter-in-law’s foetus. She is ready to go to any extent to do away with the child, if it’s not little ‘Krishna ji’ (Lord Krishna), i.e., a boy.
The third TVC is the story of an urban couple who are expecting a baby and a dinner table conversation is shown. As the film proceeds, the viewers get to understand how the would-be-father is not even willing to think names for a girl child when his wife requests him. He is adamant and forthright, that all he wants and expects is a “Raja beta”. For him, the honour and pride of his family name and his own social respect is derived only from a son.
All the three films are powerfully supported with Prime Minister Modi’s speech (“In the want of a boy, don’t sacrifice our daughters. They contribute equally in India’s pride and honour”) and a positive fact about the achievements of women in India. Girls won 27 medals in the 2014, Commonwealth Games for India in the end.
Dheeraj Sinha, Chief Strategy Officer, South & South East Asia, Grey Group India, commented, “The loadings against the girl child have infested our culture. At a larger level, no one will say they are against having girls; after all we all worship women as Gods. But in small ways we all indulge in behaviours that are against the girl child. For instance, a mother asking her daughter to fetch water, but she will never tell this to her son, the use of women related references in all the slangs which men use, mother-in-laws forcing their daughter-in-laws to produce only sons and so on.”
He further said, “The issue is deeply entrenched and cannot be solved with just one stimulus. Many macro-level statements have been made and they have done no good. We need to chip at the micro-level behaviour for this change to take effect. One possible way is by equating the killing of a foetus with murder. It brings you face to face with the monstrosity of the thought. It underlines the enormity of what’s being handled so casually in our society.”
Agency: Grey India
Creative team: Malvika Mehra, Dushyant Chopra, Saurabh Kumar
Client Servicing: Samir Datar, Sanghamitra Chakraborty, Preeti Kawatra, Anisha Mukherji
Planning: Dheeraj Sinha, Abhishek Chaturvedi
Film team: Samir Chadha, Sharad Shinde
Production house: Codered films
Director: Gajraj Rao
Producer: Subrato Ray / Mahi Saini Info@BestMediaInfo.com