E-newsletter January 2010
A communications initiative for a balanced, planned and stable population
Laadli @ The Mumbai Marathon!
The entire team of Population First (PF) and its 150-strong contingent poured on to the streets of Mumbai on January 17, 2009 to participate in the 5th Mumbai Marathon. Preparations began way back in July 2009 with PF registering for the Dream Run. This time the Laadli contingent comprised three groups- college students, corporates and members of the general public who had donated to Population First by purchasing running spots.
Our celebrity supporters this year included veteran theatre and media personality Dolly Thakore and singer-actress Suchitra Krishnamurthy, who is the mother of a single child, a daughter.
The Laadli Run was sponsored this year as well by Spykar Jeans, who sponsored our T-shirts with a graphic and message calling for gender equality.
The graphic on the T-shirt has been developed as part of the UNFPA-Laadli National Creative Excellence Awards 2007-08 and is one of several such designs and concepts available for use on the issue of sex selection, free-of-cost. Log on to www.creative-excellence.org
This year we wanted to give more visibility to the issue of sex selection by having some of the runners dressed in costumes. Imagine the surprise of the onlookers when they saw a group of pregnant women with the words ‘Save the girl child’ written on the tummy! “At least some people were polite and asked if I needed help and was feeling ok to run,” said Preeti Gopalkrishnan, Communications Manager, Population First and one of the moms-to-be. It sure got us some eyeballs, as people stopped and stood to read the plea to save girls.
The other eye-catchers were the trash bags- PF team members and college students donning the unmistakable black trash bag with the text written in bold: ‘Don’t trash the girl child!’ and ‘Girls are not disposable!’ This is an idea conceived by our long-standing supporter, Sandhya Srinivasan of the ad agency Law & Kenneth.
We also targeted our communication at those unscrupulous members of the medical community, who are the real criminals for promoting sex determination tests and spelling doom for millions of girl children in our country. Some runners were dressed as doctors displaying large text that read: ‘Don’t play God! Stop Sex Selection!’
We participated in the Run in Costume competition, and impressed upon the two judges, designers Shaina N.C. and Meeta Lulla, the need to focus on this issue, but lost narrowly to some of the other participants.
Thanks to our ‘fancy dress’, loud sloganeering, the placards with messages and our two huge, attractive banners announcing our contingent, the Laadli team made quite an impression. We were also able to collect donations of Rs. 2,14,200/- in support of Laadli.
We are so thankful to all our supporters- the colleges- Momin, Sophia, B.D. Somani and K.J. Somaiya who infused so much enthusiasm into our run, our other well-wishers who ran for Laadli and our donors.
Amcha Gaon, Amchi Shaan contest evaluated
Jury evaluates village performance in Jan 2010
A reliable measure of the success of any initiative at the grassroot level is its sustainability and how the stakeholders respond to it. In this context, we are happy to report that our village development campaign, Amcha Gaon, Amchi Shaan (Our Village, Our Pride) organised under the Amchi Project (Action for Mobilisation of Community Health and population Initiatives) was held again this year in response to the excellent feedback we received to last year’s campaign.
The campaign is designed in the form of an inter-village contest. But the contest is only a strategy to bring together the village stakeholders to review the issues plaguing them and working together to resolve them.
The other objectives are to:
The field staff comprising Sangita Tribhuwan and Fazal Khan put in a lot of effort and leg-work to contact the village heads and promote participation in the contest, which was announced on August 15, 2009. This resulted is 28 villages participating in the contest, - more villages than last year.
The evaluation of village performance was done in two phases. In the first phase, the PF staff went from one village to another between January 6 to 8, 2010 and up to 3 villages were short listed under each category.
1. Ms. Lidwin Dias, Faculty Member, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan
2. Ms. Surekha Pednekar, Programme Assistant, Don Bosco Development Society
3. Mr. Vilas Parave, Coordinator, Karm
4. Dr. Nichat, Sr. Medical Officer, Shahapur
5. Mrs. Suvrata Gharge, Manager, ER & D, Mahindra Tractors
6. Ms. Rekha Talmaki, Faculty Member, SNDT Women’s University
7. Ms. Pradnya Shinde, Ambuja Cement Foundation
8. Ms. Vibha, Freelance Consultant, Delhi
9. Ms. Shraddha Shringarpure, Coordinator, AROEHAN, Mokhada, Thane
Shetty House, 3rd floor, 101 M.G. Road, Mumbai 400 001, India
Tel: 91 22 2262 6672 / 76 Fax: 91 22 2270 2217