When we speak of womanhood, what comes to the mind is a single state of being; as if it were an undifferentiated gender. However, through the years, the society has created labels and tags that exist within this gender. The married and the unmarried, the happily married and the divorced, the straight and the lesbian, the proverbial 'complete woman' and the transgender.
#NoConditionsApply is TOI’s campaign to raise awareness about issues concerning gender equity across all opportunities, celebrations and ambitions.
True celebration of happiness necessitates inclusion of one and all. Driving home the message that “Festivals should be inclusive celebration”, TOI recently launched a short film on inclusive Shindoor Khela that it hosted under the campaign of #NoConditionsApply.
In the context of Durga Pujo, which is a mega celebration of homecoming of Shakti, the #NoConditionsApply campaign called for an all-inclusive community celebration. Celebrated as a community gathering on the last day of Durga Pujo (Dashami), Shindoor Khela is a tradition that has been celebrated by married women for hundreds of years. On Dashami (10th day of Durga Pujo), married women come together in praise of Goddess Durga and play with shindoor (vermilion) by smearing it on each other’s faces. Traditionally unmarried girls were a part of this social celebration while widows, divorcees, transgenders, single moms, etc. looked on, uninvited. As a part of #NoConditionsApply campaign, TOI joined hands with Tridhara Sammilani – one of the Durga Pujo organisers in Kolkata – and hosted an all-inclusive Shindoor Khela.
All women played Shindoor Khela together – married, widow, transgender, lesbian, single mother, divorced. This film captures the journey to this inclusive celebration – that brings humanity closer and boundaries fade away. The on-ground celebration was recorded in a short documentary format, which was launched with the support of Vidya Balan, Rituparna Sengupta and LGBT activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi. The short documentary sheds light on the way in which we can help our own people feel happy and together, it also features women who were a part of the celebrations.
Vidya Balan said, “I am happy to be associated with TOI’s #NoConditionsApply campaign as it helps spread the message of social inclusion in the country. Women’s rights towards education, professional growth and societal expectations have evolved over the years but we still hold on to some traditions. It is important for women across the country to come together and support their own gender and extend this campaign further by sharing the Sindoor Khela short documentary.”
Speaking about the campaign, Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI, said, “When we talk of gender diversity, we should also talk about diversity within the gender. Discrimination among women, and within women, have been a part of our community since decades. The campaign #NoConditionsApply raises a pertinent issue of gender equity, and the fact that festivals need to be inclusive. Celebrations are meant to be a joyous time for everyone, not to make anyone feel unwanted or uninvited. While we talk about the inclusive Shindoor Khela in Kolkata through this short film, the message is relevant to all festivities across India, and the world at large.”
During Durga Pujo, TOI launched a powerful slam poetry titled “Shindoor Khela: #NoConditionsApply” to provoke questions about social inclusion during festivals. Narrated by leading women from Kolkata – Rituparna Sengupta, Gargi Roy Chowdhury, Manobi Bandopadhyay and Sohini Sengupta, the slam poetry presented the point of view of the women who have been onlookers and uninvited to the festivities. The campaign crossed 1.2 mn reach in 72 hours and generated more than 5 mn conversations across the social media with many men and women joining in with 2-dot Shindoor during the Shindoor Khela on Sept 30. #NoConditionsApply aims to generate awareness and conversations calling for gender equity across all opportunities, celebrations and ambitions.
Agency: FCB Ulka
Chief Creative Officer: Swati Bhattacharya
Creative Team: Arijeet Gupta, Arijeet Sengupta, Abhijeet Ray, Ranit Mukherjee
Account Management: M N Damodaran, Vineeta Arora
Production House: The Bakery Films
Director: Amit Roy
Producers: Ramel George, Kirk Dias
Cinematographer: Anas Ali Khan
Asst Cinematographer: Appu Mukherjee
Offline Editor: Nipun Ashok Gupta
Sync Sound: Tarit
Music Director: Bann Chakraborty
Sound Design: Rahul Joshi
Musician: Ankur Mukherjee
Directors Assistant: Aakash Ujjwal, Ritama Ghosh
Assistant Directors: Swagatam Chakroborty, Somak Sarkar
Production Manager: Aakash Arora
Line Production Team Kolkata: Soma Enterprise
Soubhik Das, Dipankar Das, Sourav Das
Post Production Supervisor: Rohit Desai
Post Production Assistant: Sachin Puranik
Online Supervising Editor: Rodney
Online Editor: Jitendra Yadav
Office Assistant: Shankar Gawadea