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Exclusive: Motherhood is beyond Gender, says Indian Transgender Activist Gauri Sawant from Vicks Touch of Care ad

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Vicks India " Touch of Care" Commercial

– 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.

Still from 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

Still from Vicks India ” Touch of Care” advertisement

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.”

CREDITS:

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

 

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Motherhood and Vastu Shastra : Top 5 Vastu Tips for Expecting Mothers

Vastu Shasta is the study involving energy, elements and directions. It focuses on a natural flow of energies in order to attract all positive elements to work together for a common good.

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Vastu Shastra is a traditional Hindu system of design based on directional alignments. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 20, 2017 : Vastu Shasta is the study involving energy, elements and directions. It focuses on a natural flow of energies in order to attract all positive elements to work together for a common good.  Maintaining the vastu of a place is a delicate task. It is even more difficult, however important when a woman is aspiring to or beginning a new phase by bringing another life to the earth.

For all the expecting mothers, the following five vastu tips should be considered to have a smooth pregnancy,

Vastu Tips to Avoid Low Moods

Expectant mothers should refrain from staying in rooms with dark colors. Similarly, rooms with bleak colors, or those with dull shades or low feelings should not be chosen for an expecting mother or a woman trying to conceive.

Dull colors are known to have an upsetting effect on psychology. They can capable of instantly upsetting an individual’s mood.

Thus, staying in a room with dull colors can be a cause of depression for a new or expecting mother and can emotionally, mentally or physically harm both the mother and the child.

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A badly lit room or a dull room is known to upset moods. Pixabay

Vastu Tips on Colors For The Bedroom

As per vastu tips for pregnant women, dark colors such as red, black, orange etc should be avoided for rooms of an expectant mother. Instead subtle colors like light blues, white and yellow.

The color blue has a cooling effect. Additionally, the color purple also has a calming effect. To make the best use of their properties, expectant mothers can have a bulb that emits light blue or purple light.

ALSO READ Vastu Shastra: Why is it Regarded as the Science of Architecture?

Expecting mothers are also recommended to practice yoga to maintain overall health. If performed in a room with purple color light source, vastu experts believe the practice can be even more beneficial. The color purple strikes a balance between potassium and sodium levels and helps in the development, strengthening and maintenance of bones.

Additionally, vastu experts also recommend staying in a room illuminated by blue color to reduce any sort of pain during pregnancy.

Vastu tips on Sleeping Direction

Vastu tips for pregnant women say couples who plan to begin parenthood would benefit from staying in the south-east corner of the house. This can be also attributed to the direct heat from the sun which can cause body temperatures to rise and prove harmful for the expecting mother and her child.

Upon conceiving the child, the mother should shift to the north east direction until the baby is born. If completely shifting a room is not possible, the mother should spend a majority of her time in a room in the north-east direction. This should be continued even after the baby is born.

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A mother should sleep in the north-east direction as per vastu. Pixabay

Vastu Tips to Keep Mind Engaged and for Positive Mood

It is always better to know about things that involve another person’s life; that makes sense. Reading not only informs and expands an individual’s knowledge, it also keeps them distracted and constrictively engaged.

During pregnancy, due to limitations, it is not possible to keep the expectant mothers engrossed in tasks that were previously performed. Rather than keeping idle, they can indulge in reading. Books keep the mind engrossed, challenge the brain to comprehend and think and also keep it active.

Books can be chosen as per individual preferences. However, vastu experts recommend reading inspiring and motivational books during pregnancy.

Books on happy subjects provide the expectant mothers with the right direction to think in, helps uplifts their mood and keeps them feeling refreshed and happy.

Also, mothers can place pictures of cute babies or healthy children in their rooms to feel positive and hopeful about motherhood.

Vastu Tips for the Brahmasthan

Vedic architecture is based on Vastu Shastra and holds a lot of prominence for proponents.

Brahmasthan is a principal part of the house as per Vedic architecture and community planning. It is the centre or the precise middle of a building a geographical area.

Going by vastu tips for expecting mothers, the brahmasthan should be free from any obstructions. This point inside the house must be free of any sort of furniture, pillar, wall or any other physical fixture. It must also be well lit with overhead lights such as skylights.

 

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Miss Transqueen India 2017 : Delhi Says Be-YOU-tiful, Gears Up to Host Transgender Beauty Pageant on August 27

Recently, Kerala hosted the first ever Indian transgender beauty pageant. Now its time for Delhi to bring together trans-women for a national competition.

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Organizers believe the pageant will be a 'symbol of change' for the Indian trans community. Wikimedia
  • Delhi-NCR to hold a one-of-its-kind national beauty pageant for Indian trans-women
  • The competition aims to augment acceptability of the minority community and help them find stable jobs

New Delhi, August 23, 2017 : The struggle for acceptance, visibility and protection by transgender individuals has a long history. Of late, the issue has come under radar as steps are now being taken to bring the community at par with the mainstream society. To further these efforts, the capital city is now gearing up to host a one-of its-kind beauty pageant for Indian trans-women on August 27.

In this unique competition which will be hosted in Gurugram (Delhi-NCR region) sixteen trans-women from all over the country will compete for the coveted title of ‘Miss Transqueen India 2017‘.

The winner of the crown will also get an opportunity to represent India at the ‘Miss International Transqueen’ which has been scheduled to take place in Thailand next year.

The Miss Transqueen 2017 competition aims celebrate trans beauty and to inculcate confidence among Indian trans-women who are often self-stigmatized due to the society’s alien behavior.

More recently, Kerala hosted the first ever Indian transgender beauty pageant on June 15 which was attended by people in large numbers.

The Miss Transqueen Indian 2017 event is being organized and managed by the event-management firm Suhani Dreamcatchers. According to a report by PTI, Reena Rai, the founder of the firm highlighted that transgender people are often made to feel ‘different’ in the Indian society, who think they are only good enough for begging or unskilled work. “We want to change this. Our beauty pageant and its grooming sessions offer hope and is a symbol for change,” she said.

ALSO READ India’s First ever Transgender Athletics meet in Kerala

The competition bears its roots in India’s various campaigns for gender equality and empowerment, and aims to augment acceptance of trans-women in the Indian society and help them find respectable work in different mainstream industries like fashion, television, films and the likes.

The 16 shortlisted participants, who are now preparing for the Delhi competition, were chosen after several rounds of nationwide auditions that saw as many as 1,500 entries. The participants have also undergone rigorous training under close supervision of several well-known grooming experts from the industry.

Educator and grooming expert Avleen Khokhar, who is also associated with the event, believes in the importance of such platforms to empower the third gender.

According to her, “The transgender community is India is being denied education and jobs due to persistent discrimination.” She strongly propagates that competitions and platforms like these are not only necessary to further inclusion of this minority community into the mainstream Indian society but also provide the third gender with “an opportunity to embrace and empower themselves.”

ALSO READ: India becoming more Transgender- Friendly: Read this report

The event, which is slated for August 27, is expected to host big names from the country. The winner of the pageant will be crowned by Miss Transsexual Australia International 2017 Laetica Phylliscia Raveena.


 

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Baby Survives 123 Days in Brain Dead Mother’s Womb in Portugal: Science Attached to Music and our Brains

The baby in the womb of the brain dead mother can be delivered if the body is kept alive or functioning

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The findings if a new study by MIT researchers could offer a possible way to reduce the risk of autism.
  • A baby can still make it to the world after the mother has been pronounced brain dead
  • To keep the body functioning requires continuous medical support
  • Essential hormones and nutrients must be supplied to the body of the brain dead mother

New Delhi, July 28, 2017: Twins in the womb of a brain-dead mother making it to the world, sounds no less than a miracle. A case in which the body of the mother was kept alive as a ‘living incubator’ and after 123 days, 2 babies were born in Lisbon, Portugal, confirms its possibility.

Sandra was pronounced brain dead after a heart attack. She was at that time 17 weeks pregnant, and it was presumed that the baby had also died. However, when the doctors in the intensive care unit, detected signs of life, they decided to consult the family on whether to keep Sandra’s body functioning, in an attempt to deliver the baby alive.

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“Following the opinion of the ethics committee and clinical management of that hospital, and a concerted decision by the mother’s family and the paternal family of the child, it was agreed to maintain the pregnancy up to 32 weeks in order to ensure the viability of the foetus,” a statement by the hospital, mentioned The Telegraph report.

ALSO READ: ‘Science Fiction’ Cancer Therapy helps to fight people with deadly Brain Tumors: Study

Sandra’s body was supplied essential hormones through tubes, which were also used to feed her and keep her breathing. The staff members and doctors at Lisbon’s San Jose Hospital used to sing songs to the unborn babies and touch the belly of the dead mother which happened to have worked wonders.

In a more recent case, in Brazil, a brain dead mother successfully gave birth to twins after the doctor managed to keep her alive for 123 days. The case tops any other reported instances of fetuses surviving in the womb of the brain dead mother.

Frankielen da Silva Zampoli Padilha, 21, died during pregnancy in October last year after suffering a stroke. In February, this year, her twins arrived in this world. Frankielen’s body was also kept alive to save her unborn children.

The procedure of bringing the unborn in the womb of a brain dead mother, to the world, is indeed complicated. Maintaining pressure, oxygenation, continuous nutrition, hormonal balance etc, requires the continuous support of medication. The blood pressure, blood flow needs to be constantly scrutinized as well.

But this, after all, can be considered as a mother’s last gift to her child!

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha