The Times Of India has launched the second phase of its 'Farmer suicides' campaign. The campaign began in April 2013 with an exhibition, traffic for which was driven by a print and OOH campaign that used 12 portraits of dead farmers created using dry, burnt hay. These were displayed and auctioned and the proceeds from each was given to families of the deceased.
Conceptualised by creative agency partner Taproot India, the current phase of the campaign depicts the plight of families left behind by Indian farmers committing suicide owing to crop failures, drought and debt.
A two-minute TVC, which is also on digital media, features a family in a village, in despair because of the breadwinning farmer’s suicide. Left with no means to feed the family, the farmer’s wife decides that they should not die of hunger - she feeds her children and the elders rice mixed with poison, and consumes the same herself. The film ends with a call to action, urging viewers to help and leading them to savethefarmersfamily.com.
Besides the film, an OOH campaign has been planned starting with Mumbai. A print campaign will be followed by a second exhibition in end-February in Nagpur.
The attempt is to generate funds for the farmer community. The proceeds will go towards helping the community learn alternative means of livelihood and to support families of the bereaved, informed an agency statement. The initiative is being implemented with support from Samaj Sevak Charitable Trust, an NGO working for the same cause. It has also elicited the support of NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) to ensure effective implementation.
Rahul Kansal, executive president, Bennett Coleman and Company, said, “The objective of this campaign is to raise awareness of this issue so that steps are taken to support the farmers. In addition, the campaign will also attempt to provide an alternative source of income to the farmers families that have been affected."
Vivek Khilare, secretary and division head, Samaj Sevak Charitable Trust, Mumbai, said, “India’s economic strength comes from the farmers and all that they produce. Close to 60 per cent of people are still directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. For centuries, the entire nation has been heavily reliant on the farmers. So it’s only right that now when they are suffering, we try and do everything from donations to awareness programs to ease their pain and put an end to their sufferings.”
On the idea behind the film, Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder, Taproot India, said, "One Indian farmer committing suicide every 30 minutes is indeed a shocking piece of news. Our attempt is to make people realise the seriousness of the issue and request people to donate or spread the message. The more we spread the message, the higher our chances of saving a few lives."
Creative agency: Taproot India
Creative directors: Santosh Padhi, Agnello Dias
Writers: Santosh Padhi, Pallavi Chakravarti
Production house: Asylum Films
Director (film): Razneesh Ghai
Cinematographer: Kavin Jagtiani
Production producer: Anju Vaswani
Editor: Kishore Kanchan
Music: Dhruv Ghanekar
Digital agency: Webchutney