Grey’s ‘Beti Bachao’ to empower birth of a girl child

30 Jan,2015

By A Correspondent


GREY group India has unveiled the ‘Beti Bachao’ campaign. This is a Government of India initiative undertaken by the Ministry of Women & Child Development that aims to address the dipping female sex ratio and empower the birth of girl child in the country.


Discrimination against the Girl child is a very serious social problem prevailing in India. In order to stop this heinous behavior of aborting a girl child and to punish the culprit, GREY group India uses simple yet powerful idea of ‘Crime’ into a series of three television commercials. All three commercials make a hard-hitting statement that even the thought of feticide is equivalent to murder, thus creating a barrier at the root of the crime itself.


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.”


Malvika Mehra

The commercials depicts three real-life situations of a rural household, a town sonography clinic and an urban dining room, where the idea of foeticide is shown in a very obvious, expected sort-of-way as if nothing is wrong and that conversations of foeticide is very normal and accepted in social practice.


The first commercial of a rural household is set in an average rural backdrop and starts with a bunch of men enjoying their cup of winter morning tea. A phone call breaks the silence and from the conversation it’s understood that after an illegal sex-determination test, the news of a girl child is final. Friends and relatives of the to-be-father in a very matter-of-fact way convince him to take his wife to the clinic, suggesting an abortion. It goes on to portray helplessness of the female character in the film. After which it is shown that the person who suggest the idea of foeticide is a criminal as the thought of female foeticide is equivalent to murder. And guilty will be severely punished. The film is powerfully supported with Prime Minister Modi’s speech and a positive fact about the achievements of women in India. ‘Girls won 27 medals in the 2014, Commonwealth Games for India’.


The second commercial of a sonography clinic shows where a mother-in-law is trying to coerce the doctor into revealing the gender of her pregnant daughter-in-law’s foetus. Like the first film she is willing to take steps to do away with the child by any means if it’s not little “Krishna jee” (Lord Krishna), i.e. a boy.


The third film is the story of an urban couple expecting a baby, having a conversation on the dinner table. Through the conversation we understand how the to-be father is not even willing to think names for a girl child when the wife questions him. He is adamant and forthright, that all he wants and expects is a “Raja beta”. For him, the honour and pride of his family name and his own social respect is derived naturally, only from a son.


All three films are treated in cold color tones to bring out the dark subject with the subtle colloquial narrative, a hard-hitting end and a popular Prime Minister’s call for action speech. Hopefully, making a big difference to an even bigger problem


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