Prize winning responses to the photograph published last week.
Firstly, the hoarding mocks the poverty of the place where it has been put up. A child residing in such an area can never even dream of wearing such a dress. The line on the hoarding *the real you’ is a far cry from the ground realities. Secondly, the posture of the child, and the obscene exposure of her body makes a case for exploitation of the child who has been forcibly drawn into the adult world of modelling. She looks rather sad. This seems to be projected on the face of the child.
Siddharth, First year, Madras Christian College, Tambaram
Whose line is it anyway?
“I am what I am! I am not what you want to see!” says the hoarding. There is this girl dressed beautifully with an enviable amount of attitude and the kids working right under it in poor conditions. What I see is a wall that clearly demarcates the two not the hoarding and the huts but the rich and poor. The tagline says “Reveals the real you”. Yeah it does reveal the economy of India in its truest form!
Vivek Meyappan, First year Meenakshi Medical College
The picture talks about the extremes of this country India. The hoarding in the picture represents the rising economy of India while the huts beneath it stand for the poverty that is constant. The country harbours the rich and successful who able to flaunt the changes of fashion and also the poor who have no choice but to wear the little that they have.
Candice Rozario, XI
And these were also commended
One is a surreal world with its own charm; the other is grim reality. One chooses pretty child models; the other uses children for labour. The latter face problems of malnutrition and child labour. Devoid of education, working in unhealthy conditions, earning very low wages, their childhood is lost. By creating awareness among the school children of privileged class about their social commitments towards the under privileged, the Next gen could contribute their bit towards the cause of uplift.
Sharanya Kumar, XII, Jawahar H.S.S.,Chennai
Though, the ad proclaims that the “real you” of those who wear its clothes will be revealed, I find the true emotion of the small girl is sadness. The child has been made to pose according to whims and fancies of her parents or the advertiser. Her freedom to dress as she likes has been curtailed and the innocence of her eyes are transformed. to give a sad look. Also, this hoarding has been put up in a place where people lead a hand-to-mouth existence. Not only is it in the wrong place and the persons behind it have not paid any attention to the child’s feelings.
R. Smruthi, XI, Modern Sr. Sec School
Forced into it?
More than anything else, it is the girl in the hoarding who caught my eyes. She seems to be about eight years old. There is some sort of dislike or open boredom in her eyes. Why? Was she not interested in posing for this advertisement? Was she forced into it? Or was the sponsor been ignorant of her expression? This evokes two thoughts in my mind. First, children should be given freedom of thought. Expressions should never be ignored just because the advertisement is based on other products.
Amrithavarshini, IX, PSBB Sr. Sec. School
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