Project Nanhi Kali redefines the Raksha Bandhan gifting tradition
In a heartwarming social media led campaign, Project Nanhi Kali relaunches Raksha Bandhan as #ShikshaBandhan, an occasion which can be celebrated through the year. It comes from the insight that education is the best form of protection that any sister or girl can be empowered with. The campaign weaves the classic tradition of a brother giving his sister a gift and promising her protection beautifully with the brand promise.
In keeping with Project Nanhi Kali being an NGO, there were limited budgets. But there were the little girls who have big dreams. And unlimited talent. So, each little girl identified an elder brother/sister celebrity that they looked up to and admired. Then, they got to work with materials found in their homes during the lockdown, and hand-crafted a beautiful Rakhi for their brother/sister. We then simply recorded the girl’s video, presenting the Rakhi to her celebrity brother/sister, explaining her dreams and asking for protection through the very simple act of supporting and paying for a year’s education through Nanhi Kali. The message videos were then released on social media, tagging the respective celebrity, requesting them to support the cause and spread the message amongst their followers; asking every Indian to celebrate #ShikshaBandhan. From Bollywood superstars like Vicky Kaushal, Vidya Balan and Ayushmann Khurrana to sports icons such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni and to strong female icons like Faye D’Souza the celebrities addressed in the campaign are those the little girls connect with on a certain personal level. With the Project’s successful intervention in 10 states across India, it also takes its message of celebrating #ShikshaBandhan across languages by calling out to regional stars like Prabhas and Diljit Dosanjh.
Each girl has sent a personalized message and rakhi to their celebrity brother/sister.
It’s a complete integrated digital campaign using most social platforms visited by celebrities. There are also videos and posts reaching out to past supporters and donors, requesting them to continue with donations during these tough times. It is early days and here’s hoping the celebrities support their little sisters and spread the message to their followers. The idea is to continue the campaign following Raksha Bandhan too.
Conceptualized by What’s Your Problem Brand Solutions, the videos capture the Nanhi Kalis’ emotions in a real way and have been shot entirely from their home during the lockdown in collaboration with the organisation’s on-ground team and the girls’ tutors.
Madhura Athanikar, Copy Supervisor and Bhrushi Shah, Account Supervisor, WYP, explained,
“Our inspiration for this idea came from the fact that gifting is a big part of Raksha Bandhan. When a younger sibling emotionally asks for a gift, no elder sibling has the heart to turn them down. In these times of the pandemic, the girls’ education has taken a backseat. The gift of good education will help these little girls grow up to become empowered women who affect change all around them. The videos were created with no budget in the middle of the lockdown, using a network of community associates that work directly with the Nanhi Kalis. We request publications and people at large to reach out to the celebrities to tag them and request them to share their sisters’ messages and support these little brave hearts."
Speaking about the campaign, Sheetal Mehta, Senior Vice President, CSR, Mahindra Group, & Executive Director of Project Nanhi Kali said, “Though girls are not the face of this pandemic, they risk being amongst its biggest victims. It’s more crucial now than ever before that they have access to quality education. Else it will further widen the already existing gaps in education purely on account of their gender. We look forward to support for these girls on the forthcoming occasion of Raksha Bandhan, where the gift of education to these younger sisters will help us build a more equitable India post the lockdown.”
The videos present the gift of education as a priceless one for the Nanhi Kalis, and encourage viewers to turn into rakhi brothers and sisters for the Nanhi Kalis, thereby protecting their future. With #ShikshaBandhan the gifting on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan gets far more meaningful.