This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by PRATIBHA BONDIA. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Jaago Grahak Jaago: Don’t Give Brands The Power To Play With Your Mind


Yesterday, at my brother’s place, while watching a hot discussion on Aaj Tak about demonetisation, I happened to watch Sonakshi Sinha’s Signature Blanket ad. She was saying, “Signature blanket ke bina aapki lifestyle adhuri hain (Your lifestyle is incomplete without a signature blanket)”. I was smiling hard after watching the advertisement. I kept thinking: I don’t have a signature blanket but I don’t feel my lifestyle is incomplete without one. In the whole ad, there was no discussion about the product’s quality and utility. They were just trying to make a luxury brand out of a blanket to sell it, the sole purpose being to make money.

I mean, there is nothing wrong in earning money and selling products. It is business of course, but I believe, that doesn’t give advertisers the right to make people feel incomplete and insecure without their products. If one studies ads and brands today, their main focus is on how we should look, improving our status quo, and beauty and luxury, more than the quality and utility.


This also reminds me of an ad I watched of Rajnigandha Silver Pearls, with Priyanka Chopra. Priyanka says in the ad, “Dil bada toh tu bada (If your heart is generous, then so are you)” and “Acchai ki ek chamak hoti hai (Goodness has a sparkle of its own)”.  In India, when we are already dealing with problems related to tobacco, Priyanka and the company are trying to inculcate the same habits in Indian women. Not only that, they are trying to relate tobacco to the goodness inside us! Strange – these are the super stars and heroes of our country! Just a quick question – what does goodness and a generous heart have to do with eating Rajnigandha Silver Pearls?

Next up – Maggi. Amitabh Bachchan ji says, “Maggi brings khushiyan in two minutes! (Maggi brings happiness in two minutes!)” No offence ! I am a big fan of both – Amitabh ji and Maggi. But first thing, it never gets prepared in two minutes and secondly, it  has never brought me happiness in two minutes. But, I agree with one thing for sure – thinking of having Maggi gives me excitement in two minutes. But this excitement and happiness doesn’t last once I eat it. And am I the only one who gets stomach ache after eating one?

Coming to beauty – one of my favourite topics to write about. Actor Yami Gautam is saying one can get instant fairness using Fair & Lovely. On the other hand, actor Asin is advocating about having skin that outshines gold. I am still thinking, why do we need to have skin that outshines gold? I believe Lux & Asin must have the answers.

Talk about Katrina Kaif’s Slice advertisement – I have never seen anyone dressing like a goddess before eating a mango. The time I had first watched this ad, I kept thinking, what is so revealing about a mango and a bottle of Slice? We all understand why they have chosen her and the message they are trying to portray through the ad.

I have been Delhi for some time now and the city is full of pollution. It is hard to get fresh air outside even for an hour. I have changed six cosmetics brands in the last six months, but all have failed to keep my skin fresh and healthy from dust allergies caused due to pollution. But according to Katrina and Lux, If I will use their new fresh splash soap, It will be a breath of fresh air for my skin. Seems like, need to try this one too! 🙂

And really, no words for this one! 

In our country, we treat our superstars like god. We spend hours following their Facebook page, personal life, brands they love and every small thing about them. Heroines are believed to be the epitome of beauty and it’s a dream to look like them and be like them in every possible way. Many young people lose their hopes and career every year trying to get into the Bollywood world of name and fame. Many get depressed and lose their life too. Where are we heading with this?

I am a big fan of movies myself and I love watching them, but I believe we have given more power to them than we should. What’s wrong with us ? And what’s wrong with advertising companies and film stars? I totally understand, they are stars and need to make money to have a luxury lifestyle and pay their bills. But I believe they should think of their social responsibility too before endorsing a brand. There are millions of people who follow them blindly and believe in the brands just because the stars are associated with it.

This is a humble request to companies, advertising agencies and film starts to please use their creativity, money and fame in a good way. Please make good and healthy products and advertise them sensibly. Please don’t mislead your fans.

And as for us, let’s not give brands the power and authority to play with our mind.



You must be to comment.


Similar Posts

By varun pratap

By Love Matters India

By Kunal Jha

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below