‘Project Free Period’ Campaign – A Unique Approach to Fighting the Sex Trade in India


DDB Mudra Group and a feminine hygiene company, Stayfree India, have partnered in an interesting campaign to help women in the sex trade cultivate skills to get out of prostitution dubbed #ProjectFreePeriod.

“While almost every woman dreads her period days, there were women who looked forward to it,” said a release, adding that for women in the sex trade, “their period was the only respite from the lives they were being forced to lead.”


 

Through collaborations with professional skill trainers, a vocational training program was created educate participants with skills that could help them sustain themselves outside of the sex trade.

Learning is condensed into 3-day training modules so that the three days of their periods can be turned into three days of learning.

Launched in January, with the help of Prerana, a local NGO, the first edition of #ProjectFreePeriod rolled out in the red light district of Mumbai. Over 30 women have since been part of workshops where they have learned skills ranging from candle-making, embroidery, henna-art, soft-toy making and basic beautician skills.

Uneducated and with no income security, such an opportunity to learn an alternative vocation is crucial.


 

The program will also have the women set up stalls in flea markets and malls to display the products of their newly acquired skills in an effort to create more awareness and support for the initiative.

The strategy additionally plans to take the training out of the classrooms, for both the women and the trainers; through simple instructional videos that can be shared through Whatsapp.

“To go from normalizing periods in the lives of women to using periods to normalize the lives of women in the sex trade; is a great example of the kind of power and influence brands can wield,” said Rahul Mathew, National Creative Director, DDB Mudra Group, quoting on the initiative. “Project Free Period turns the period from a pause to an opportunity, for these women to sustain a life outside of the trade.”

“This project brings a chance for the women in the red-light areas to step out of the exploitative lifecycle,” said Mugdha Dandekar, Project Manager, Prerana. “Uneducated and with no income security, such an opportunity to learn an alternative vocation is crucial. Working in the red-light areas of Mumbai, we often see such initiatives in practice, but this considers the comfort and convenience of our women.”

“The women have chosen the days they would like to come for the training so that it doesn’t disrupt their lives. The change has to be gradual, not on a weekly or monthly basis, and this project understands that. Therefore, we see a strong commitment from our women to hold onto this opportunity and give change a chance.”

Credits:

Creative: Rahul Mathew, Shagun Seda, Kapil Tammal, Sharad Das Gupta, Aashna Gopalkrishnan, Faraaz Ansari, Vinay Singh
Account Management: Aditya Kanthy, Rajiv Sabnis, Kim Das, Nikita Tambay, Vinisha P., Megha Jaiswal, Megha Sharma, Qaid Vora
Account Planning: Toru Jhaveri, Sanchari

 

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