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Exclusive: Motherhood is beyond Gender, says Indian Transgender Activist Gauri Sawant from Vicks Touch of Care ad
– By Naina Mishra
April 06, 2017: The Vicks India “Touch of Care “ advertisement is in the wake of transgender issues in the country. The advertisement showcased the real-life story of a Transgender mother who seems adept in raising her adopted child. The ad sets in motion by drawing attention towards the inseparable bond shared by a daughter with her mother. The ad unexpectedly transforms into a momentous ad leaving all the spectators filled with admiration in the end.
WATCH THE AD HERE-
Gauri Sawant is a transgender who was raised in Pune. Ever since her childhood, she was inclined towards the feminine side within her. The journey of Gauri Sawant from Ganesh Suresh Sawant has been full of impediments but nothing seems to shrivel the spirit of the flawless transitional woman that she is now. At times, Gauri would often dress up secretly in her grandmother’s sari and apply makeup. As she grew up, things became a little tussle some for her. She started wearing Kurtas in college as it appeared a neutral dress code to her. Gauri’s family grew repulsive of her as she started dwelling a woman in her.
Gauri endeavored to build a respectable living for herself as she was always sure that she will never beg on the streets, earning a living for what her identity is. With the help of Humsafar Trust, she underwent her transition. She is now running an organization “Sakhi Char Chowgi” devoted to LGBT rights.
Gayatri is raising the 16-year-old girl child, who was left orphaned in 2001 after the demise of her mother, who was a sex worker and died of HIV.
I, Naina Mishra (reporter, Newsgram) spoke with Gauri Sawant featured in the Vicks India – Touch of care advertisement.
Motherhood is the purest form of love and sees no biological compulsions at all.
“Motherhood is like sugar in the water. Just like when the sugar dissolves into the water, it becomes inseparable. Similarly, a mother is a mother and is beyond any gender. Anyone can become a mother. It has nothing to do with femininity that only a woman can be a mother, the single parent can also be equally adept in becoming a mother.” – Gauri Sawant defined Motherhood to Newsgram.
“My daughter has made me complete for what I have done to her. She has given me the opportunity to become her mother. It is my immense pleasure to be able to serve her. I learnt from my mother and it is in my bones whatever I have inherited from her. It is just like passing on from one generation to another.” – Gauri on becoming a mother.
Raising a child being a transgender is not easy in our society. To affirm the hard-hitting fact, Gauri states that-
“People have a mindset that why should a transgender be a mother. The heterosexual society has the set of norms and stereotypes. It is painful for me also to come out of this cliché because every time you have to prove that you are a mother.”
It is a blatant truth that the transgender community derives more or less no benefits from the government.
“In 2014, I was the first person to file a petition to Supreme Court. Indian constitution says I am the citizen of India regardless of which I had to go to Supreme Court. It was so embarrassing for me. The government has to be sensitized towards the single parent.”
Outlook from the Brand Spokesperson-
Advertisements nowadays are not only entitled to the selling of the product but also serving as a compelling force in bringing social awareness about the societal issues to the viewers. The Vicks India – ‘Touch of Care’ advertisement is one such example that strived to bring forth the invincible issue in the country. The Vicks Brand has stood for Family Care in India for over 50 years
To collect the perspective concerning with the ideology and thesis behind the campaign, Newsgram connected with the brand spokesperson of P&G. The responses were recorded by Mr. Nitin Darbari, Chairman, and CEO P&G Teva JV China, Marketing Director Asia, Middle East and Africa for P&G.
The ideology affirms the love of a mother for her child.
“In the film, Gauri is not looked at as a transgender but as an epitome of motherhood showing her love and care towards her daughter. The campaign shows how people who, though not connected by blood, end up being a family through care itself. The film resonates with the fast-paced lives of consumers where care goes beyond biological ties.”
The message of the advertisements has made an indelible imprint on the viewer’s mind.
“It celebrates a bond between people who are close to each other beyond biological ties. It strengthens family love and care in the context of Vicks and how Vicks which has taken care of families for generations can bring this to life in a contemporary way. We want consumers to recognize that everyone has a right to family and that wherever there is care, that bond is a family.”
Asked to share the work experience with Gauri Sawant, the team responds “The first thing that struck the team about Gauri was her charisma. Her warmth, intelligence, and humor were reflected in her conversations and in her work. And she kept us rapt with her stories between takes. In one word, unforgettable.”
Client: Vicks Agency: Publicis Singapore Chief creative officer: Ajay Thrivikraman Creative team: Jocelyn Chabanis and Eugene Pua Account management: Floriane Tripolino and Prachi Partagalkar Account planning: Ed Booty Production house: SeeOn Director (film): Neeraj Ghaywan Producer: Deepa Limaye Director of photography: Manoj Kumar Khatoi
The Scene of Transgender in India
Homosexuality is discerned as a Taboo in the present world. While the government frequently passes the verdicts in and against the favor of the dejected community, the society leaves no stone unturned in condemning the Transgender. Their lives are still condemned as “deviant behavior” and are shunned as unacceptable.
Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is an iron fisted law in the country that criminalizes the sexual relations “against the law of nature”. In 2009, Delhi High Court de-criminalized the consensual homosexual acts, saying “the section denies a gay person a right to full parenthood”.
Homosexuality was recriminalized by the Supreme Court, saying “it was a matter of parliament to take a call on the desirability of contentious provision”.
In 2014, the verdict passed by Supreme Court of India marked a cornerstone in ascertaining the rights of Transgender. The transgender community was thus embossed with basic rights ( Right to Personal Liberty, dignity, Freedom of expression, Right to Education and Empowerment, Right against violence, Discrimination and exploitation and Right to work). The law permitted Transgender to live unreservedly and express their gender identity without any gender crisis. They are now referred as the ‘Third Gender’.
Emphasizing the need to bring them into the mainstream, it was believed that the third gender should have all rights under the law, including marriage, adoption, divorce, succession and inheritance.
Reported by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: Nainamishr94
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. Not only do fans love Amitabh Bachchan's outstanding performance, but the actor's heartwarming words are also highly regarded. A much moved Amitabh Bachchan, during his speech to the crowd of over 80,000 people at the Reliance Industries' annual event, said that the legacy left by Dhirubhai has had a positive impact on millions of people's lives worldwide.
When Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan became bankrupt in the late 1990s, Dhirubhai Ambani stepped forward to give him financial assistance. In his speech, Bachchan remembered that Dhirubhai had sent Anil Ambani to offer him financial assistance during the crisis, which he had respectfully declined. Lenders began knocking on his door, losses mounted, and his bank account dwindled to nothing. He said, "Dhirubhai's money might have gotten me out of the problem quickly. However, I respectfully declined his offer and gradually began to find work again, which let me pay off my debt."
Amitabh Bachchan is adored by the public for his unforgettable on-screen performances as well as his magnetic demeanour. | Flickr
Later, after Bachchan had recovered from the bankruptcy, one day he was invited to an event at Dhirubhai's residence; Bachchan added, "Dhirubhai was standing and having a chat with his industrialist friends when he saw me there, he called me, firstly I felt shy even to present myself in front of such big industrialists but then, I went there, and Dhirubhai declared in front of all of them that 'This young man had fallen but managed to get back up on his own, I have a lot of respect for him because of that.' Those words of his were worth much more to me than any amount of money that he could have offered me."
It was the "Reliance Family Day" event and was attended by members of the Ambani family from all generations. The event commemorated the company's 40-year journey since its inception. It also celebrated the 85th birthday of the late Dhirubhai Ambani, RILs (Reliance Industries Limited) founder.
Keywords: Bollywood, Reliance, Amitabh Bachchan, Dhirubhai Ambani, event
In comparison to adults, children are prone to getting traumatized by troubling events easily, and this makes it important for parents to help their children when the times are tough. It could be a brutal accident, an unprecedented pandemic, a violent crime, or other disasters but with the right parental support, children have a higher chance of coming out stronger from an awful situation.
Anuja Kapur, Psychologist shares few tips wherein you can assist your child when tough times comes calling:
Every child responds differently to disturbing events: What children feel about a current disaster in their life and how they react to it can come and go in waves. Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. There's no absolute "right" or "wrong" way to feel after a traumatic event so make sure not to dictate what your child or how your child should feel and react to the event.
Children can act moody and withdrawn at times, struck with sorrow and fear at other times. | Photo by Kat J on Unsplash
Encourage your child to be transparent: Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. The unpleasantness will pass if your child opens up about it and that the phase is temporary. While many teens may be reluctant to talk about their feelings with a parent, encourage them to confide in another trusted adult such as a family friend, relative, or a counselor and teacher. It's important to talkeeven if it's not with you.
Just make sure you let your child know that whatever feelings they're experiencing is normal. | Photo by Sebastián León Prado on Unsplash
Deter your child from reliving the disturbing event: Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. However, to negate such things from happening encourage activities that keep your child's mind occupied so they're not obsessive about the event. You could encourage your children to read, play games together, or simply watch an uplifting movie.
Dwelling over, watching the footage, or imagining the event can be overwhelmingly stressful for children and this stress can even block their nervous system. | Photo by Юлія Дубина on Unsplash
Cocoon your child with warmth: In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. Teens may try to be tough through it and avoid being held, but they still need the proximity.
In order to reassure your child that they are safe with you and feel secure, that the worst is over your physical affection is important in making them feel safe again. | Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash
Maintain routines. Establishing a predictable structure and schedule for your child's life can help to make the world seem more stable again. Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. Make sure your child accommodates time and space for rest, play, and fun. Keeping up with a schedule can help countercheck the obnoxious feeling of stress and worry in children about the future being dark, hopeless, and unpredictable.
Try to maintain regular times for meals, homework, and family activities. | Photo by Paico Oficial on Unsplash
Acknowledge and validate your child's concerns. The disastrous events in life may give place to unrelated fright and concerns in your child. However, understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child. If at any point the child blames himself for the event make sure to make it clear and crisp the event was not their fault, you love them, and it's okay for them to feel upset, angry, or scared but not guilty.
Understanding and accepting your child's present state is a comfort for the child Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash
Irrespective of the age of your child, it is vital for parents to offer that extra support and assistance following an unsettling event. The traumatic event may bring up unrelated fears and issues in your child. However, by accepting their thoughts and replacing their fear with your love and direction, the ominous feelings will start to fade away. Eventually, the child will be able to return to a normal and healthy life. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kids, Help, stress, cope, routine, warmth, understanding, encourage, psychology, children
The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union (EU), has announced plans for smartphone and other electronics manufacturers to fit a common USB-C charging port on their devices in an effort to reduce waste. In addition to phones, the rules will apply to other devices like tablets, headphones, portable speakers, videogame consoles, and cameras, reports The Verge. The decision will have a huge impact on Apple, as the company still uses its own Lightning connector to charge iPhones. The proposals only cover devices using wired, not wireless and a USB-C port is only mandatory for devices that charge using a cable.
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices | Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
"Chargers power all our most essential electronic devices. With more and more devices, more and more chargers are sold that are not interchangeable or not necessary. We are putting an end to that," the report quoted EU commissioner Thierry Breton as saying.
The Commission also wants to unbundle the sale of chargers from the sale of electronic devices, which it says will improve the consumers' convenience. "With our proposal, European consumers will be able to use a single charger for all their portable electronics - an important step to increase convenience and reduce waste." In addition, the Commission will require manufacturers to provide relevant information about charging performance. (IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Electronic Devices, Chargers, Cable, smartphone, Adapters, Charging Cord