Every half an hour one Indian farmer commits suicide owing to crop failures, drought and debt. At last count, over 300,000 resigned to fate and decided to end their lives. But these figures are only the tip of the iceberg. Chilling as it may seem, the real problem wasn’t those who had died. It was those they had left behind. The families of the deceased; over a million starving women, children and elderly people, with no source of income.
To highlight the plight of farmers and their families, The Times of India had rolled out an awareness campaign in April 2013 with an exhibition. The traffic for this exhibition was driven by a print and outdoor communication campaign. As part of the communication, 12 portraits of dead farmers were created using dry, burnt hay. These portraits were displayed and auctioned and the proceeds from each portrait were given to the families of the deceased.
Following the overwhelming response to the initial phase, the second phase of the campaign has been launched a few days back. The second phase broke out with a 2-minute long TV commercial, which is also part of a digital campaign that got implemented around the same time. Along with the television message, innovative hoardings have been planned in different cities, starting with Mumbai, in the days to come. This will be followed by a print campaign and a second round of exhibition planned at February end in Nagpur. The whole agenda of the campaign is to have more and more people wake up to the issue and generate sufficient funds for the hugely affected farmer community.
Watch the TVC here…
“The objective of this campaign is to raise awareness of this issue so that steps are taken to support the farmers. In addition, the campaign will also attempt to provide an alternative source of income to the farmers’ families that have been affected,” said Rahul Kansal, Executive President, Bennett Coleman & Co.
The campaign has been conceptualised and created by Taproot India. Santosh Padhi, Chief Creative Officer & Co-founder, Taproot India said, “One Indian farmer committing suicide every 30 minutes is indeed a shocking piece of news. Our attempt is to make people realise the seriousness of the issue and request people to donate or spread the message. The more we spread the message, the higher our chances of saving a few lives.”
All proceeds of the campaign go towards helping the community learn alternative means of livelihood and to support the families of the bereaved. The initiative has been carried out with support from Samaj Sevak Charitable Trust, an NGO working for several years for the same cause, thereby ensuring the funds reach those rightfully in need. The initiative has also gained support from NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) to ensure effective implementation of all its programmes.
“India’s economic strength comes from the farmers and all that they produce. Close to 60 per cent of the people are still directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture. For centuries, the entire nation has been heavily reliant on the farmers. So, it’s only right that now when they are suffering, we try and do everything from donations to awareness programmes to ease their pain and put an end to their sufferings,” said Vivek Khilare, Secretary & Division Head, Samaj Sevak Charitable Trust, Mumbai.
Commenting on the creative execution of the ad film, Razneesh Ghai, Director, Asylum Films said, “It was a challenging concept to execute, as we did not wanted to overdo or make it too subtle, the casting and acting was very crucial and we did spend enough time to get the right ones. Everything you see is the film is real, right from people to props to the house.”
Creative Agency: Taproot India
Creative Director: Santosh Padhi, Agnello Dias
Writer: Santosh Padhi, Pallavi Chakravarti
Production House: Asylum Films
Director: Razneesh Ghai
Cinematographer: Kavin Jagtiani
Production Producer: Anju Vaswani
Editor: Kishore Kanchan
Music: Dhruv Ghanekar
Digital Agency: Webchutney
For further details on the campaign, visit the website,
http://www.savethefarmersfamily.com/ or the Facebook page