Viral ad: Jewelry brand focuses on women’s safety

Mumbai: The Hathras incident has once again shed light on the safety of women in the country. But with each passing day, we come across more and more reports of atrocities committed against women. With authorities unsure of what action to take and society prone to blaming the survivor, it’s high time women took matters into their own hands. With this in mind, HS Kalekar Jewelers of Kolhapur has come up with the Har Beetiyan Ko Ab Durga Banna Padega (Every Girl Must Become a Durga) campaign.

The ad begins with a young girl walking alone down a deserted street. A young man follows her on his bike and stares at her cheekily. The biker continues to stalk her, then suddenly blocks her way. The young girl in distress changes course and sees an old lady sweeping on the edges of the road. She runs to the woman, picks up her broom and begins to threaten the man in pursuit. The girl maneuvers the broomstick at high speed in the nunchuck style, which is an advanced form of martial arts. Intimidated by her martial arts skills, the eve-teaser runs away.

The ad ends with the girl walking fearlessly through the empty streets and leaves a strong social message:

Saans Saans Tufaan Bane

Jab Tinka Tinka Shashtra Flail

Khud Ka Sanmaan Khud Karna Padega

Har Beetiyan Ko Ab Durga Banna Padega

(Every breath turns into a typhoon

And even a twig becomes a weapon

You have to respect yourself first

Every girl must become a Durga)

Where most jewelry brands accentuate a woman’s femininity by portraying her in the traditional roles of wife, mother or daughter, HS Kalekar showcased her strength and indomitable spirit. In fact, they completely omitted any jewelry from the ad.

Through the campaign, the brand wants to encourage women to get rid of the victim role and become a fighter. She’s not the aggressor, but when it comes to standing up for what she values, she won’t back down. She must be her own guardian.

At a time when the issue of women’s safety has become clouded by endless debate and politics, the advocacy of women’s empowerment by HS Kalekar Jewelers is a much needed and laudable initiative. The campaign was widely shared on social media with many praising the brand for making a bold and progressive statement.

According to the National Crimes Records Bureau, India recorded 88 rape cases every day in 2019 and a girl’s or woman’s vulnerability to rape has increased by up to 44% over the past 10 years.

Mara R. Wilmoth