ActionAid: Awakening The Pg 3 Consciousness

New Delhi: | Updated: Mar 21 2003, 05:30am hrs
In its efforts to bring the underprivileged onto the radar screens of the privileged classes, ActionAid India will later this month launch a new print campaign. Specifically targeted at the page three crowd, it seeks to draw attention to more serious issues like poverty, homelessness and lack of education facing large sections of the society.

The black and white print campaign, made by O&M, Delhi, questions the general publics obsession with celebrities and the page 3 culture, when there are serious issues facing large sections of society. With stark pictures, the caption reads: Not your regular page 3 crowd, but they are the ones who deserve your attention.

The organisation, which till last year had been fairly low key in its efforts to achieve social equity, has put in place a fundraising strategy that is based on the philosophy of philanthropy for social justice, under which it seeks to get into partnerships with corporates, other NGOs, schools, colleges and religious institutions to achieve its targets.

Says ActionAid India chief executive Jerry Almeida,The idea is to be market savvy with fundraising so as to gather critical mass and get people to join in not just as donors but partners, friends, guides in the long term. This also helps us fulfill one of the challenges we face of using in-country funds.

Under India4Change it plans to launch major fundraising projects to tackle issues like urban poverty and homelessness. While the Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Chennai chapters of the programme have been launched ActionAid intends to carry it to Kolkata and Ahmedabad soon. It has succeeded in involving well-known names like Shyam Benegal, Mahesh Bhatt, Nafisa Ali, Amala, Nandita Das and Sharmila Tagore in its programmes, but is now trying to draw in the middle and higher classes.

Looking at corporates as partners in change, it is working with several corporate houses on cause-related projects. While Sterlite Foundation has donated Rs 41 lakh for its project for the homeless, Harvest Gold organised a Kids4kids campaign in Delhi, where it collected Rs 3 lakh from children for underprivileged kids. Other names that have been roped in for projects include BPL, Hallmark, GE, Taj Group, Prudential ICICI and GE. ActionAid has several other programmes on the anvil like the Payroll Programme, where the corporates could make regular donations from their salary for the underprivileged.

It is also using innovative concepts like an Aman Yatra, music albums and TV spots.

ActonAid is a global development agency and an international NGO based in UK working in over 35 countries. It seeks to awaken the needy to their rights and the more privileged to their role. ActionAid India works with over 300 NGOs on issues like gender, drought, chronic hunger, education, homelessness, Dalit and other vulnerable communities.