PRACHI DESAI, KONKANA SEN SHARMA, and SONALI BENDRE
In a brilliant move the authorities in the government have brought along the generation next of the female persona who have given a new idiom to the Hindi cinema together to advocate about the cause of the female health and a toast needs to be raised for the same. The persona includes Farah Khan, Prachi Desai, Konkona Sen Sharma, and Sonali Bendre who have decided to create awareness about the incidence of cervical caner. The campaign is being run through intelligent copy decision both through the print media and the FM channel of radio whose outreach in spreading the message of health is increasing day-by-day.
To make the message wider spread Sonali Bendre is imploring the women in Marathi to undertake regular health checkups, Prachi Desai in Gujarati and Hindi while Farah Khan is also in Hindi and Konkona Sen Sharma is there to advocate the cause in Bengali.
For India, it indeed is a monumental achievement as for the first time a serious awareness is being created and the seriousness is being driven home by using these female stars. In India more than a lakh cases of cervical cancer are reported every year and it primarily owes to lack of awareness and regular check ups. Many a life like those of Jade Goody, but unlike, in anonymity is lost in India every year. The choice of the medium of print and radio is also intelligent as its base is quite wide and at one point of time or the other the woman would be able to hear it and could think about undergoing the tests to prevent her from a medical eventuality.
When awareness is created by utilizing the celebrities it has its impact as it happened in case of the Polio campaign which was given a new dimension when Amitabh Bachchan came to associate with it, followed by Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan as well.
Though the campaign is still running in the bigger cities, the realization that it can only become effective if it is done in local language (the campaign originally ran in English and was re-launched in Hindi on Mothers Day on 10 May 2009), and taken to rural areas would really be able to save quite a lot of lives.
More such campaigns need to be built up if India is to really become developed and what better way than to use the generation next of celebrities who have the inclination and the desire to channelized their popularity for social causes.