An outstanding campaign from Vicks narrates the true story of Gayatri, whose biological mother died of AIDS when she was six years old, before being adopted by Gauri. The video has gone viral.
The story unfolds in a lovely, heart-warming way as Gayatri reminisces all the special moments of love, care and affection between her and her mother. The ad ends by revealing Gauri as a transgender person, but more importantly, as a doting mom.
Towards the end of the video, Gayatri wonders why her mother is not entitled to her basic rights, when everyone else is. “I want to be become a lawyer for my mom,” she says.
The ad leaves you humbled.
The ad does much to show that it is not only the one who gives birth that has a loving, caring heart. Anyone who nurtures can be a mother. After all, motherhood is conferred by the deeds, and not just by the act of giving birth.
Yes, that mother with a golden heart is a transgender person. This stroke adds a new level of respect and recognition to a community, the members of whom we call ‘hijras‘, and try to avoid to the greatest possible extent. Transgender people in India have also been ruthlessly stereotyped and misrepresented in films.
The ad, which is just over three minutes long, has indeed given us a timely nudge. We are indeed living in rapidly-changing times. The LGBTQ community, whom we have long ignored and denied them their existence, are now emerging from their closets, from the shadows, and more importantly, within families.
It is essential for our society to be inclusive. Gender equality should be about loving, caring and empathising with others, irrespective of gender.
So, if you see a boy who likes pink and only reads book, stop calling him ‘sissy’. Stop addressing aggressive and ‘boyish’ girls as ‘tomboys’. Also, if you really want to change, you should invite that ‘queer’ kid (whom you want your own kids to avoid) over for a play-date.
The rights to choose, be accepted and be treated with dignity are indeed fundamental rights and need to be practised!