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TOI celebrates womanhood; #NoConditionsApply

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MUMBAI: When we speak of womanhood, what comes to mind is a single state of being; as if it were an undifferentiated gender. However, through the years, society has created labels and tags that exist within this gender. The married and the unmarried, the happily married and the divorced, the straight and the lesbian, the proverbial 'complete woman' and the transgender.

In order to raise awareness about gender equality, Times Of India (TOI) has launched its #NoConditionsApply campaign and has recently launched a short film on inclusive Shindoor Khela. Relating I to Durga Pujo, which is a mega celebration of the homecoming of Shakti (goddess Durga and a symbol of divine femininity) to her maternal home with her sons and daughters, #NoConditionsApply campaign calls for an all-inclusive community celebration.

Celebrated as a community gathering on the last day of Durga Pujo (Dashami), Shindoor Khela is a tradition that has been celebrated by married women for hundreds of years. TOI brought together married, widowed, transgender, lesbian, single mothers and divorced women to celebrate the day. This film captures the journey of this inclusive celebration – that brings humanity closer and boundaries fade away. The short documentary sheds light on the way in which we can help our own people feel happy and together. It also features women who were a part of the celebrations and showcases their joy to be included.

Conceptualised by FCB Ulka, the campaign has touched the hearts of millions of people across the globe including the Indian film fraternity celebrities like Bipasha Basu, Tapasee Pannu, Celina Jaitly national award winner Srijit Mukherji among others.

FCB Ulka chief creative officer Swati Bhattacharya adds, “This movement wasn’t for those who had opted out. It was for those who had been pushed out, it was about erasing a line not drawn by them, but by others. It was about two dots of red with no barrier in between, it was about equality in symbology because after all, that is where it all begins and where it all flows back to. Every progressive, inclusive thought is only as powerful as the ritual it permeates, at least in a country like India where rituals are everything.”

Times Of India director brand Sanjeev Bhargava says, “It is wonderful to see the #NoConditionsApply campaign receive such a positive and welcoming response from men and women across the country, the campaign has touched over 5 million hearts so far."

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