Home Top Stories #NoConditionsApply: A Campaign Addressing Gender Inequality

#NoConditionsApply: A Campaign Addressing Gender Inequality


When we speak of womanhood, what comes to mind is a single state of being; as if it were an undifferentiated gender. However, through years, the 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. It seems the woman’s existence has always been defined with an asterisk mark. #NoConditionsApply is TOI’s campaign to raise awareness to issues concerning Gender Equity across all opportunities, celebrations, ambitions. There has been a lot of talk on why the world needs diversity. Diversity will come through inclusion. True diversity and inclusion need to be reflected not only an opportunity; but also in celebration and festivities.

Driving home the message that “Festivals should be inclusive celebration”, a short film on inclusive Shindoor Khela is hosted under the campaign of #NoConditionsApply. Contextualising to Durga Pujo, which is a mega celebration of homecoming of Shakti (Goddess Durga and a symbol of Feminine Divine) 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. On Dashami (10th day of Durga Pujo), married women come together in praise of Goddess Durga and play with Shindoor (vermilion) by smearing it on each other’s face and body. Traditionally children and unmarried girls are a part of this social celebration, however, the rest of our sisterhood looks on, uninvited.

All women played Shindoor Khela together – married, widow, transgender, lesbian, single mother, divorced. This film captures the journey to this inclusive celebration – that brings humanity closer and boundaries fade away. Supporters are of Vidya Balan, Rituparna Sengupta and LGBT activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi. 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.

Excited to be a part of this campaign actor Vidya Balan said, “It is wonderful to see all the lovely women celebrating Sindoor Khela together. Celebrating their womanhood and that’s why I think the #NoConditionsApply campaign is so great, it is about including everyone, it is about breaking barriers. I think this short film is beautiful because we don’t realise that not only do we discriminate between men and women, but also within women there are so many levels of discrimination and this video broke that tradition of discrimination within the gender.”

“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. About two dots of red with no barrier in between. Me & my other sister. My transgender sister. My widowed sister. My sex worker sister. My outlier sister. 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 ritual is everything” said Swati Bhattacharya, Chief Creative Officer, FCB Ulka. #NoConditionsApply hopes to bring a positive change in the way women are treated by society.

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The CSR Journal Team