Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has released three ad films as part of its ‘Beti Bachao’ campaign. The ad films have been conceptualised by Grey Group.
The ‘Naming’ ad film shows a young couple as they settle for dinner. The husband instructs his wife to take care of herself and their unborn child. The wife asks if he has thought of a name as yet. The father-to-be confidently answers that the name would be ‘Raja’. The wife enquires about what he would name the child if it was a girl. The husband takes offence and doesn’t entertain that possibility. He hints an abortion saying that if they find out that it is a girl, he’ll look into what has to be done.
Another film depicts a doctor’s clinic where a lady and her mother-in-law have arrived to get a sonography test done. Post the test, which goes well, the mother-in-law looks to find out the gender of the baby. Going further, she mentions that money shouldn’t be a problem.
The scene for the third film is at a seemingly north Indian home where the men of the family are out on the porch when one of them gets a call saying the expected child is a girl. The man answering asks for the speaker to stay put at the clinic and intimates the father-to-be to ask the expectant mother to get ready to go to the clinic. The lady’s husband asks her to promptly get ready. The woman is shown crying and helpless at the decision of the men of the family.
All three films end with a message of the prime minister, a bit from one of his speeches, calling out to the nation to save the girl child. The end of the films also put the decision to abort at par with a decision to commit murder.
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. Portrayed via handcuffs in the films. Sometimes nothing works better than a threat."
Dheeraj Sinha, chief strategy officer - South and South East Asia, Grey Group India said, ”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 worship women as god. But in small ways we all indulge in behaviours that are against the girl child. A mother asking the daughter to fetch water and not the son, men using women in their abuses, mother-in-laws asking for a son of their daughter-in-laws, eunuchs blessing for a son and so on. 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."