We all have been watching movies/ advertisements since childhood. Not only that, many bits from this virtual world of media have etched a deeper place in our hearts and minds. A memory saved, a habit acquired, a style followed, imitation or emulation or simply given a thought about something that has been seen, it could be anything but not ineffective. Isn’t it true?
Since we are talking about community cleanliness I want to talk about how media both print and electronic could influence/ rather influencing the efforts in this direction.
Media be it any form-print or electronic impacts our lives in one or other way. I am not talking any rocket science. But how could media act as a catalyst in instigating a change, be it a thought or a process. It is simple. It is the reach media have that makes it an important player when change of any kind is concerned. A word of mouth might be taken lightly and forgotten but when same message goes across via print media it carries more significance that makes it noteworthy. And electronic media takes the appeal a notch higher because visual appeal that a motion picture gives always registers better than a plain word on paper. Moreover, it has nothing to do with the audience being literate or not and that’s the USP which enables the message to be spread more widely and effectively.
Now that we understood the role of media in spreading a word or rather a message let us see how this has been useful in our Government’s effort to keep our county clean. For our readers outside India I would like to mention that our government has started a new mission to make and keep India clean and safe (read sans diseases) which is called “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” the literal translation for which means “Clean India Mission”. And the handlers of the mission who have very well understood the impact of message on various channels of media are using different avenues to the maximum possible levels. I would like to list a few advertisements that I have seen which could go or might have gone far in bringing about a change:
- School kids spreading the message of washing hands properly, drinking pure water from purifiers and defecating in toilets only. This message highlights the importance of hygiene.
- A famous actress (Mrs. Vidya Balan, brand ambassador of sanitation campaign) reiterating the importance of having proper toilets at home
- Another famous actor (Mr. Aamir Khan), spreading across the message of keeping our surroundings clean that would eventually help us to have a cleaner country.
- In almost every leading newspaper, in every language the methods to keep the dangerous diseases (read spread by mosquitoes and unhygienic ways) at bay a column is dedicated. And that too on a repeated constant basis.
These are just few examples on how media is being used for the betterment of country by inculcating hygienic habits in the citizens. What I liked most in this campaign is that the target audience, which is the entire country has been cleverly segregated and targeted. For instance, I was talking about an advertisement featuring kids. The impacted audience includes children for whom it is very important to learn about cleanliness at a young age. And the point has been intelligently put across. Similarly, for youngsters and adults if a person whom they idolize and respect tries to say something or put forth a point, that would be taken easily and acted upon too.
Any mission or policy in order to be a success needs support from the core and the core here is none other than the “public”. No plan can become an implementation and no implementation can be a success until and unless public involvement is guaranteed. And only awareness can draw its interest. And media in this regard has left no stone unturned to blow the horn of this initiative. Right from the day of this mission’s inception media is covering every aspect and every person (read celebrities from every field) associated. It would be noteworthy to know that just as the “Ice Bucket Challenge” that became viral “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” Challenge became viral. And it was media which spread the word and awareness and drew more and more people – both celebrities and commoners and culminated efforts for better results.
And the results are yielding. Many backward villages are now trending in the way of cleanliness and trying to achieve the tag of “ODF” which stands for Open Defecation Free. This is just one aspect. The overall impact is surely positive and definitely counting. To conclude this I just want to say that media is doing its part in bringing about a change. Let’s do our bit and see a “Swachh Bharat” soon.
We watched few videos mentioned in yesterday’s snippet, “Cleanliness at a glance.” For all other advertisements under Swachh Bharat campaign you can always surf on YouTube.