Vaju De Shitti – Blowing the whistle against stigma and discrimination

Creating conversations among masses is the first step towards eradicating deep-rooted social stigma.

‘Vaju De Shitti – Voice Against Asthma’ was launched as a health -issue awareness campaign on World Asthma Day. The campaign was regional- Maharashtra. Parents of girls with asthma struggle to find a marriage match for them in India and therefore try to keep the disease under wraps.

In a typically arranged marriage setting in Maharashtra, the horoscope of the bride and groom are matched to ensure a happy marriage. Ironically, there are various solutions for any obstacles found in the horoscope of the bride-to-be, but if a girl suffers from asthma, she faces rejection as she is considered unfit to be a healthy life partner for the boy.

‘Vaju De Shitti’ targeted this belief that an asthmatic patient cannot live a happy life and asked the audience to blow the whistle against this social stigma.

The campaign began with posters designed as a horoscope, with slogans against the social stigma. This was shared on ground and on all the social media platforms. Awareness talks were held in corporate offices, educating people people with asthma can live a healthy, normal life if they follow a healthy lifestyle and medications.

A giant whistle was the star attraction of the campaign. Several women working and home makers, female auto-rickshaw drivers, and college girls became active ambassadors, actively sharing the message among others.

The Facebook campaign received an overwhelming response. Print adverts were published in matrimonial columns of leading Marathi newspapers, in Marathi and English.

There also was an on-ground video was shot with people sharing the whistle and forming a virtual chain to lend their voice.