An eye-opening message

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | April 20, 2015
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Transgenders vowed to donated their eyes to mark the first anniversary of their community being recognised as the third gender in India, under the 'Eye to Eye' campaign executed by DDB MudraMax.

The transgender community have come together and pledged to donate their eyes to mark the first anniversary of them being declared as the 'third gender' by the Supreme Court of India on April 15. To mark the occasion, Lenskart, e-tailer of prescription eyeglasses, sunglasses and contact lenses, along with the transgender and transsexual community, gathered at Jantar Mantar to pledge their eyes, en masse, as a thank you gesture to Hon'ble Justice AK Sikri and Hon'ble Justice KS Radhakrishnan who passed the judgment.

Over 16,000 pledges have been received so far under the 'Eye for an Eye' campaign. The community has vowed to bring this number up to two lakh. Justice Sikri and Justice Radhakrishnan, in turn, handed over the pledges to the Eye Bank of India.

Discussing the concept of the initiative, Aneil Deepak, head of ideas, DDB MudraMax, which executed the BTL activity, says, "Functional advertising doesn't cut ice with the extremely informative millennial. In today's world, brands need to show a heart, behave humanely and offer a point of view. Transgenders and transsexuals were always around, but we never acknowledged their presence. We couldn't see. So, for Lenskart, we came up with the idea of transgenders pledging their eyes, so those who can't see, see, with a hope that those who can see, see too."

Speaking on the event, transgender activist, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, says, "Eyes do not discriminate; the perspective and perception of people do. The 'Eye for an Eye' campaign is a symbolic event aimed to reduce the stigma."

"The government's response and action on the SC order has not been very positive and little effort has been made to help the community. We will also use the opportunity to send across a message to the politicians to end the discrimination and take measures to reduce years of backwardness thrust upon us because of the stigma," she adds.

Talking about Lenskart's support to the campaign, Peyush Bansal, CEO, Lenskart, says, "It's Lenskart's vision to spread ability to make every citizen of India see clearly. It just takes a much bigger leap with the 'Eye for an Eye' campaign. The Supreme Court gave the transgenders and transsexuals the much needed respect this time, last year. We are glad to associate with them for this generous gesture. We hope more and more Indians will be inspired to donate their eyes now."

Dr. Rishi Mohan, joint secretary, Eye Bank Association of India (EBAI) and director, MM Eyetech Institute, notes, "Netra Daan is Maha Daan. I am delighted that the community has collectively decided to pledge their eyes for donation after death in this most noble of actions. I wish that other communities too embrace this philosophy in an effort to alleviate curable corneal blindness."

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