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Project Streedhan raises awareness about anaemia among urban Indian women

Conceptualised by FCB, the campaign asks women to give the same importance to iron as gold, and to invest in it by improving their nutritional habits and eating healthy iron-rich foods to reduce iron deficiency

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Campaign Project Streedhan is an attempt to equate the importance of purity of gold, a precious metal, with that of the iron count in a woman’s body, another precious metal.

The launch of the campaign has been timed to coincide with the Dhanteras festival of 2019 and exhorts women to invest in iron and not only gold. Project Streedhan is a CSR initiative of DSM, a global major specialising in solutions for nutrition, health and sustainable living. FCB Ulka has conceptualised and created the Streedhan campaign.

One out of two women in India are anaemic*.

In fact, India ranks the highest in world for prevalence of anaemia among its women, and more than 50% of women in urban India are also anaemic.

It is unusual considering women in cities and towns have far more access and exposure to information and healthcare facilities than their rural counterparts.

Project Streedhan has been crafted creatively in a form that will appeal and resonate with urban women.

Given that the key cause of anaemia in women is iron deficiency, brought about by lack of balanced diet and nutrition, Project Streedhan exhorts women to give the same importance to iron as to gold, and to invest in it by improving their nutritional habits, eating healthy iron-rich foods, thus reducing iron deficiency in their bodies.

Leading nutrition expert Rajan Sankar, Director Nutrition, Tata Trusts, said, “In my long years in the field of nutrition the one thing that is easily noticeable is that governmental efforts tend toward the rural side of most nutritional issues, where it is indeed expedient. In the urban context, nutritional crises are mostly due to information bias, or poor communication among target communities, who may otherwise be financially secure. This is especially true for anaemia among urban women. This is something communication can solve very easily, but somebody has to take charge of it. I congratulate the Streedhan campaign for attempting to do so. In a strange way, to think that half of the educated, urban women are simply unaware of their anaemic conditions is a caustic reminder also of the gender bias at play — where women have always put themselves last in line for the family’s health. This campaign will correct that perception.”

Swati Bhattacharya, who conceptualised Project Streedhan said, “Iron deficiency has seen many awareness campaigns. Still one out of every two women suffers from iron deficiency. Sometimes it is not what you say but how and where you say it creates the bigger impact. This Dhanteras, when women are thinking of investing in gold, the Streedhan campaign gets them to think of investing in another metal. Something that turns to gold inside them — iron. The real Streedhan is iron. Also, what’s so heartening is that so many jewellers across the country have come forward to support this message!”

Since the campaign was planned, over 50 jewellers across the country have also signed up to support the Project Streedhan initiative and have pledged to spread the message among their key customers, who happen to be almost exclusively, women. Some of these include names such as Hazoorilal Legend and MBJ (North) NAC Jewellers (South), Kundanlal Jewellers (West) and DK Bengal Jewellers (East).

The elements of the campaign have been chosen to reach the urban women — reaching them through a powerful film and messages on social media (#InvestInIron), through influencers and unique initiatives like creation of edible iron rich jewellery and installations in strategic spots like the Gold Souk Mall in Gurgaon, etc. NGOs working in area of nutrition have also been reached out to for furthering the message.

*GoI’s National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data - 2016

The film:

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