Monthly Archives: August 2019

Indian Ads That Challenge A World Where Children Are Not Equal

Advertising plays a big role in acting as an agent for social change. The way we think, understand and act is closely linked to the information and stories we consume through mass media. While unrealistic, unhealthy advertising can have very real, harmful effects on our behaviour, advertising with positive messages, depicting an inclusive picture of society can also impact us for good.

A growing trend of advertising with social messages, is challenging age-old norms and beliefs, making way for an inclusive, egalitarian society. Many brands are addressing looming social issues, promoting the need for healthy, safe childhoods, changing mindsets and attitudes of people towards children. 

Here are some Indian advertisements that challenge a world where children are not equal.

1. #SHARETHELOAD BY ARIEL (2019)

“Are we teaching our sons what we have been teaching our daughters?” asks detergent brand Airel, in its series of #ShareTheLoad. This 2.5 minute advertisement hits the right chord by addressing gender equality that begins at home, at an early age, where expectations for household chores are a task assigned to girls and not boys. Challenging this patriarchal norm, the protagonist (mother) of the advertisement, sets the pace for a more equal home, by teaching her son to help out with daily chores like laundry.

2. #LOOKBEYONDMARKS BY CADBURY BOURNVITA (2019)

Understanding well the idiom ‘One size does not fit all’, Bournvita took a progressive stance on why children must have the freedom to make a choice for their careers, by playing out a social experiment for parents.

The ad opens in an apparel store, where patrons (parents) come in to buy clothes, to realise that only black XL size t-shirts are available for sale. Startled and annoyed at the lack of options, many of them ask to speak with the manager. These clueless customers are greeted by a child (playing the manager) who asks questions like, “Can you imagine how I feel when I do not get choices for my career? If I am interested in dance, why am I still pressured to score 90 %? Does everyone need to be a topper?”

“Every child deserves a choice beyond marks. This exam time, #LookBeyondMarks,” says the ad, juxtaposing the lack of choice available to parents in an apparel vis a via the lack of choice in career options for children, giving them a hint of what children feel when parents pre-decide how they must live their lives.

3. #LADKIHAATHSENIKALJAAYEGI BY MAHINDRA RISE (2019)

This advertisement aims to dispel the misconceptions around girl child education, by taking on a fresh view on the phrase “Ladki Haath Se Nikal Jayegi”. With the objective to demonstrate the opportunities that result from educating a girl child, this advertisement breaks down patriarchal norms that hinder a girl’s place in society, and every aspect of her life. The rap song, encourages girls to make their own choices, live fearlessly and courageously, busting misconceptions that have held them back.

4. #SHAVINGSTEREOTYPES BY GILETTE (2019)

Breaking away from the gender-specific roles, the ad based on a true story aims to inspire the next generation of men by breaking stereotypes. Interestingly, the ad is shown through a young boy’s perspective, who is surprised to see two girls taking up a razor in a barber shop. Confused by this, he quickly asks his father, “Bapu, yeh ladki hoke ustra chalayegi?” to which his father replies saying that a razor wouldn’t know the difference between a boy and a girl.

The ad begins with the statement, “Bapu kehtain hai, bacche jo dekhtain hai, usse se seekhtain hai.” The son has grown up seeing a disparity in gender roles clearly defined by society where the mother is the nurturer, and the father is the provider and the daughter helps the mother in household chores. This in turn, becomes his reality too. The ad not only talks about patriarchy but also shows how a changed mindset in men can support girls in making choices for their own lives.

5. #GIFTTHEMDREAMS BY LENOVO (2018)

Youngsters today lead a very stressful life; with immense pressure to perform well in academics and get admitted in a top college. Lenovo’s #GiftThemBelief delves into this issue and highlights that it doesn’t matter if a child’s marks are low, since marks alone cannot decide one’s future, instead it is the power of belief and dreams, that is the mantra for one’s success.

Aimed at helping parents look beyond marks and colleges, helping children focus on their natural instincts and passions, will eventually fulfil their ultimate dream.

6. #TOUCHOFCARE BY VICKS (2018)

This film by Vicks, captures how the power of care, a strong support system can go a long way in helping a child become comfortable with who they are, and come face to face with complexities and realities of life. It shows the discrimination a child growing up with a rare condition has to go through from a not so supportive society. The film narrates the story of Nisha, the protagonist, who is born with a rare skin disease. With time, she realises that her disease is only a part of her life, not her identity.

Climate Change

Photojournalist GMB Akash Captures The Complex Stories Of Child Labour & Childhoods Lost

Can you exchange a day with your own child in the place of these children? Can you deposit your children’s labour in such a place for a day in return of $1. If you can’t, can you please do something for these children? “Wishing to help” is an excuse. Shame is a mild word to what we are overlooking. May our spirit wake up,” said GMB Akash, documentary photographer and photojournalist from Bangladesh, giving a face to the issue of child labour, and forcing the public to look at the human toll of an all too common phenomenon.

With a focus on social issues, he realised that to abolish child labour, one has to first make it visible. With this intent, he began his photo series ‘Angels in Hell’ and ‘Born to Work’ that created an uproar and the much-needed discourse in both national and international circles.

“My intention is not only to show the children at work as victims of bad bosses exploiting them, but I want to show the complexity of the situation: The parents who send their little boy to work in a factory because they are poor; the child who has to work to earn a living for the family; the boss of the factory who is being pushed by big garment companies to produce for less money; and the Western consumers as clients who buy cheap clothes,” says the award winning photojournalist, as he continues to tell some of the most poignant stories of child labourers.

For over 15 years now, with countless conversations with children working in hazardous conditions in coal mines, balloon factories, dumping grounds, textile, brick kiln and cigarette factories, he brings to the fore the real stories and nuances that reflect many childhoods across the world – Long working hours, exploitation and harassment by the employer, ill health due to working in hazardous conditions, drop out from the school, lack of a support system all ultimately lead to deprived childhood.

A master of his craft, his work not only reflects in his technical skill, but also his humanitarian heart, provoking the viewer to understand from a child’s perspective this dreadful reality.

Here’s a look at his Instagram feed that tells many a story of the world’s youngest labourers.

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A boy stirs a vat of dyeing liquid. Almost all of Bangladesh's 200 plus tanneries are concentrated in Hazaribagh, a densely populated, odious neighbourhood on the banks of the Buriganga River. Residents of Hazaribagh's slums complain of illnesses such as fevers, skin diseases, respiratory problems and diarrhoea. They blame the tanneries for polluting the air, water, and soil and therefore causing their afflictions. The lives of the tannery industry's estimated 20,000 workers are harsh with many dying before they turn 50. Everyday these factories discharge thousands of litres of foul-smelling liquid waste into the river. However, with almost one billion USD a year in export sales, the leather industry is one of Bangladesh's most profitable sectors and there has been limited progress in cleaning it up. For 60 years of operations an unrecorded amount of chromium sulphate, lead, organohalogens, lime, hydrogen sulphide, sulphuric acid, formic acid, bleach, dyes and oils have been discharged into the river. #ig_fotoclub #photographyeveryday #photooftheday #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #streetstorytelling #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #PortaritAmazing #ipofficial #ig_calcutta #portraitpage #kdpeoplegallery #life_is_street #streets_storytelling #indianphotographyclub #streetofcalcutta #thehub_portraits #ipofficial #zonestreet #world_photography_page #ig_hindustan

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Rahman (12) is being hit by the owner of the textile factory. Rahman’s job is to sew children’s t-shirts. During the course of this day he was working too slowly to deliver so he was hit by the owner. He earns $1 for ten hours of work in a day. Dhaka. Bangladesh This photo won the World Press Photo award in 2006 and has since brought a great deal of international attention to this issue. The photo begs a discrimination free world. In one word ‘Justice’. I was passing by a tailor shop where local garments produced. The child labor boy was little slow because of continual work pressure. And for his reason the owner of the factory was beating the boy with his roller. I didn’t think twice and kept the moment in my camera. After getting the award, the best thing is the issue focused to be discuss world wide. This photo went in many exhibition and people all around the world become conscious for this kind of situation. I went back with the publish photo of the factory owner and again treat him not dare to hit any more child again. He said sorry and promised this will not happen again! And later the local authority/ police took action against him! #ig_fotoclub #photographyeveryday #photooftheday #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #everydaypakistan #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #streetstorytelling #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #PortaritAmazing #ipofficial #ig_calcutta #PortraitsVision #portraitpage #kdpeoplegallery #spicollective #streets_storytelling #indianphotographyclub #streetofcalcutta #thehub_portraits #ipofficial #zonestreet #world_photography_page

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We come to work at 7 am. Because of working continually, we do not usually notice when it becomes dark outside. We work in darkness, under the yellow lightbulb. Sunlight does not enter our factory. Sometimes when the electricity goes out, we can go outside, but now we do not like to play anymore. We feel tired. Telling you the truth, we become very hungry at 3 pm, but rice is expensive. Our income is 1000 taka per month; how can we spend any for rice? We enjoy this free bread at lunch time; when you are hungry everything is delicious. We do not feel full after having it though. But after returning home in the late evening, mother will give us yummy hot rice with mashed potatoes! It’s good for poor people to eat once a day. Please take a piece of bread sir, it is not that bad. – Ador, Shohag Note: Shared 10 real life stories in my blog which will definitely melt your heart. For full stories and photos follow the link on my: #people #documentary #streetphotographer #traveler #travelling #travel #travelphotography #photojournalism #documentary #documentaryphotography #portraits#photojournalism #children #bangladeshiphotographer #colorphotography #instagram #ig_fotoclub #photographyeveryday #photooftheday #people_infinity #Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #india_undiscovered #rohingya #portrait #tribal #earth_portraits #portraitmood

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“If my images bring to life the haunting realities that millions of children face each day then this is fulfillment of my work. And if mine is the hand that blocks the scorching sun from their eyes – bringing shade for just a single minute, then there’s value in the work I do. I am talking about 7.4 million children who are risking their life each second to rescue themselves from hunger and poverty, a tale of those for whom we rarely care about. I keep asking: Who is there to bring them in the light from their working- living-hell? Who will save these innocent hearts which will decline with time! Is there any one? ” #documentaryphotography #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #kdpeoplegallery #life_is_street #zonestreet #world_photography_page#wpa_ #bangladeshphotography#myfeatureshoot #worldcolours_people #people_infinity #theBest_capture #streets_unseen

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A boy from the Ulingeros family works in the toxic charcoal area in the North Harbour of Minila for a few pesos. Many of the workers in Ulingan are small children, some as young as six or seven years old, unable to attend school because of poverty. It is estimated that 60 percent of the population have tuberculosis while other lung problems, due to the ever present smoke, and water-borne diseases are commonplace. Manila, PHILIPPINES #ig_fotoclub #photographyeveryday #photooftheday #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #streetstorytelling #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #PortaritAmazing #ipofficial #ig_calcutta #portraitpage #kdpeoplegallery #life_is_street #streets_storytelling #indianphotographyclub #streetofcalcutta #thehub_portraits #ipofficial #zonestreet #world_photography_page #ig_hindustan

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I have to work with a lot of attention. This is not easy to find usable stuff from garbage. Sometimes after whole day I found one thing to sell in the recycle shop. And in a good day I can find biscuits. Not ordinary biscuits, the one which has cream. That’s my favorite. Some days I find biscuits which tastes very sour but my dog like to have that, so I give him without eating those. And in a very bad day, I cut my feet. I think people do not know that children work in the garbage on bare foot. They throw away broken glasses which often scratch our feet. Sometimes it bleeds heavily. It hurts a lot. I and my dog have had many scars in our legs. That’s why now a days I am keeping clothes with me. If it bleeds I tie and continue to work. – Jesmine (7) #ig_fotoclub #photographyeveryday #photooftheday #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #everydaypakistan #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #streetstorytelling #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #PortaritAmazing #ipofficial #ig_calcutta #PortraitsVision #portraitpage #kdpeoplegallery #spicollective #streets_storytelling #indianphotographyclub #streetofcalcutta #thehub_portraits #ipofficial #zonestreet #world_photography_page

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I was born here in this brick field. I am accustomed to this hard work from being in the womb of my mother. When she was pregnant my father disappeared. My mother tried to find him for years but she could not. No one knows if he is alive or dead. I have worked with my mother every day since then so I understand about work. Every day from early morning to evening, I carry bricks. If I carry 3000 bricks in a week then I get 300 taka. Each brick weighs 2.5 kilograms. I can only carry 6 bricks at a time. After that I collect coal for my mother for our cooking. I help with the cooking and doing all the household chores with my mother. Boys of my age laugh at me calling me, “Maiya” (woman). I don’t feel ashamed about this. But rather, I feel proud when their mothers compare me to them saying how much I help my mother. – Mobarak #ig_fotoclub #photographyeveryday #photooftheday #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #streetstorytelling #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #PortaritAmazing #ipofficial #ig_calcutta #portraitpage #kdpeoplegallery #life_is_street #streets_storytelling #indianphotographyclub thehub_portraits #ipofficial #zonestreet #world_photography_page #ig_hindustan #wanderlustfilms

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“If my images bring to life the haunting realities that millions of children face each day then this is fulfillment of my work. And if mine is the hand that blocks the scorching sun from their eyes – bringing shade for just a single minute, then there’s value in the work I do. I am talking about 7.4 million children who are risking their life each second to rescue themselves from hunger and poverty, a tale of those for whom we rarely care about. I keep asking: Who is there to bring them in the light from their working- living-hell? Who will save these innocent hearts which will decline with time! Is there any one? ” #documentaryphotography #people_infinity_#Humanity_shots_ #world_photography_page #rk_photography_hub #ir_aks #humanity_shots #earth_portraits #portraitmood #portraitpage #spicollective #thestreetphotographyhub #portraitfestival #portraitsofficial #globe_portraits #PortaitVision #kdpeoplegallery #life_is_street #zonestreet #world_photography_page#wpa_ #bangladeshphotography#myfeatureshoot #worldcolours_people #people_infinity #theBest_capture #streets_unseen

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How The Resilient Children Of Majuli Turned The Floods Into A Learning Experience

THE PEOPLE OF MAJULI & THEIR INTERFACE WITH FLOODS

Floods are not new to the people and children of Majuli, Assam. In 1950 an earthquake in the region changed the course of the river quite dramatically, making floods a common occurrence. Known as the largest river island in the world, for generations now, the lives of Majuli’s inhabitants has been dependent on the might of the Brahmaputra river, that overflows perennially every monsoon season. 

Stories from the 1700’s talk of a particular occurrence at the time that appears to have diverted part of the flow of the Brahmaputra through the channel of the Dihing, about 190 kms upstream of its confluence. When the two rivers met, the intervening land area formed the island of Majuli. According to the first geographical report, Majuli was a cluster of 15 large and numerous small islands back in 1792.

MAATI COMMUNITY & THE CHILDREN’S LIBRARY

The entry point to our community children library is submerged under water in Chitadarchuk village, Majuli

The Maati Community aims to create a platform in the region for better exposure and knowledge sharing in the field of art and craft and therefore built a library known as Akonir Puthighor, for the community children in Majuli. Located in the village of Citadarchuck, whose majority inhabitants belong to the Mising Community, a tribal community of the region, a total of 60 children became regular partakers in the library’s activities.  

TURNING THE FLOODS INTO A LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Each year, the coming of floods is riddled with negative connotations of what little it brings to the people of the region, and how much is takes away. But this year, with the news of the coming floods, we rushed to the island, with the mission to witness the floods together, with the children, to translate this yearly occurrence into a learning experience.

The water started entering Citadarchuck, and the entry to Garmur village was cut off with a sudden rise in water levels, cutting of access to this market area. The day grew into evening, as the people of the village remained busy with shifting cattle and grains, to a place of shelter. Always prepared for the floods, the Mising Community plan in a way to shift their important belongings to a significant height above the ground level, create separate safe spaces for their motorbikes, tractors, scooters and cattle, that help sustain their livelihood, knowing well that high levels of water are expected to stay for 5 days.

The next morning, we woke up from a night at the library, to the noise of a boat. Our surroundings were completely flooded, and the noise of the boat indicated an accident or an emergency. But instead, the water levels started increasing and overflowing into the library, despite it being at a height. By 8 am the children started coming in and together we started putting the books and stationary at a height that the water would hopefully not reach.

There were many other incidents like these through the floods that exemplified the resilience of children in difficult circumstances, highlighting their prominent role in building thriving communities and being integral members of it.

Children get onto boats and ride towards the community library to help out

Many children of Majuli are familiar with boats, and the floods prove to be a time when they can get their hands on moving around in them. Boats are an integral part of the Mising Community culture. Infact, the same day the floods took place, one could see children piling up in their boats, rushing towards the half-submerged library. Since the premises outside the library is their playground area, where all the children gather for games and other activities, this time they brought their older siblings and family members to help out too.

Fishing became an activity during the floods where children assisted their families for their daily food supply

The floods this year also made fishing an extracurricular activity. At this time, most of the vegetable plantations get destroyed, making fish the only available source of food, therefore, families get busy in fishing for their daily food. This time fishing became a fun activity for the children, engaging them while school and other activities were shut.

“I don’t get scared of water!” said one of the boys, while jumping into the flooded water during a swimming race.

Another positive fall out of the floods this year, was the swimming races started off by the children. Almost everyone in Majuli village knows how to swim, and this became a time for children to gather and compete against each other. This was a lot of fun for the children and causes a buzz in the village.

For us, this act of children coming together and engaging to protect their library, helping their parents to fish and gather food, creating avenues for fun and play at a time of emergency and distress was an experience that will always bring a smile to all our faces. It also reflected in more ways than one that children are resilient, and active participants in society, and if we view problems through their eyes, we will always find a solution.

How Calvin & Hobbes Sum Up What Every Child Thinks During Exam Time

Today, children and teenagers face pressure at home and school so startlingly extreme that it’s a surprise we all haven’t run away and formed our own community. Children as young as ten, to teens as old as eighteen are drowning in the inhumanely high standards set by society when it comes to academics, especially traditional examinations. Report cards that don’t boast of A’s are judged and shunned, and the pressure mounts with each passing year. ‘Your whole future depends on the next set of exams.’ ‘If you score less than 7 A’s, you won’t be accepted into any respectable University.’ These are the sentiments that students hear every single day, and sometimes it all gets so much, especially because we feel like no one knows how we’re feeling, except Calvin.

Bill Watterson through his comic strip – Calvin & Hobbes, perfectly captures the despair, anger and frustration that every student feels in the face of daunting pressure. It is through Calvin’s nonchalance about school life, his disdain for exams and tests, his excuses for doing homework, his questioning tactic to avoid learning, his disdain for school rules, and his indifference to any authority figure, that every student is able to relate to what we often can’t articulate.

Here’s a look at 9 times when Calvin was a total mood, enacting the internal dilemmas of students everywhere.

1. WHEN HE SAID WHAT EVERY STUDENT THINKS DURING A HISTORY TEST

2. WHEN HE ABSOLUTELY DIDN’T CARE WHAT WAS GOING ON IN CLASS

3. WHEN HE VOICES WHAT WE ALL THINK AFTER WAKING UP

4. WHEN HE DEVISED A CLEVER WAY TO ESCAPE ARBITRARY TEST QUESTIONS

5. WHEN HE QUESTIONS THE POINT OF DOING ANYTHING AT ALL

6. WHEN HE DISPLAYED WHAT EVERY STUDENT THINKS DURING A TEST

7. WHEN HE DID WHAT EVERY STUDENT DOES TO GET THEMSELVES THROUGH AN AGONIZINGLY LONG CLASS

8. WHEN HE ARGUED AGAINST A GRADING SYSTEM THAT IS ANCIENT AND RIGID

9. AND LASTLY, WHEN HE FITTINGLY PUT WHAT EVERY STUDENT FEELS EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY INTO WORDS.