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Save the Children India distances itself from controversial abuse campaign

952013120000191450421godA new ad campaign in India is using venerated Hindu goddesses to call attention to gender-based violence. It caught a lot of attention when it launched two weeks ago, but the group behind the campaign says it is not affiliated with it.

The images were commissioned by Save the Children India’s Save our Sisters campaign. Its work is focused on eliminating the trafficking of young girls and women in India. Save commissioned Taproot India to put the campaign together.

There were nearly 250,000 reported crimes against women in India last year. The Abused Goddesses campaign shows photographs of models as figures like Saraswati.

Viewers of the ads are encouraged to ‘Save our Sisters’ by calling a hotline to report incidents of violence. However, Save the Children India is now distancing itself from the campaign after it gained attention earlier this month.

9520131200001914498613godA disclaimer on its website reads:

A project of Save the Children India does not endorse the campaign on abused goddesses. Taproot had created the campaign for Save our Sisters but it was not approved to represent us or use in any form or shape in associate with us. The campaign does not represent the work or ideology of the Save our Sisters movement which is working towards the prevention of trafficking of women from sources areas and the active rehabilitation of rescued victims of trafficking.

“These ads have nothing to do with us or our work. We do not deal with the issue of domestic violence,” said Save our Sisters CEO Dr Subhadra Anand to DNA India. “If you want to know more about our work under Save our Sisters, we can talk about that.” Of course, we do.

Upon a quick glance the image looks like a traditional depiction, but a closer look reveals scars and bruises on the goddesses. Pictures alongside the main image show the process of making the image and the following text appears below:

“Pray that we never see this day. Today, more than 68% of women in India are victims of domestic violence. Tomorrow, it seems like no woman shall be spared. Not even the ones we pray to.”


HT Scoop Whoop


About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]