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Dabur's ode to D. Sivan, the postman who kept walking

The brand subtly plugs its Rheumatil pain reliever in this celebratory video after Sivan's story went viral.

It all began with an endearing tweet from Supriya Sahu, an IAS officer who's at present principal secretary and CEO, Tamil Nadu Tea Federation.

She was celebrating the career of postman D. Sivan who, "... walked 15 km every day through thick forests to deliver mail in inaccessible areas in Coonoor. Chased by wild elephants, bears, gaurs, crossing slippery streams and waterfalls, he did his duty with utmost dedication for 30 years till he retired last week." Sahu had cited newspapers Dinamalar and The Hindu newspaper.

Coonoor is a hill station in Tamil Nadu and is famed for its hill stations surrounded by the Nilgiri Hills. Because of the terrain, Sivan had to walk to deliver the letters and couldn't depend on any motor vehicles, or even a bicycle. It was his warm spirit that caught people's eyes. Pretty soon, mainstream press picked up this news and he went viral.

For someone of his age to walk 15 km every day is no easy feat. It's also what Dabur must have thought when it paid its respect to him in a new ad for its Rheumatil offering. It is a clinically tested topical joint pain reliever, enriched with herbal extracts (oil) of medicinal plants like Gandhapura, Neelgiri and Ashwagandha.

#Dabur #Rheumatil salutes ‘The Man who walked the Earth’, our heartwarming tribute to D. Sivan, a recently retired...

Posted by Dabur on Friday, July 24, 2020

The ad, if you'll notice, doesn't make any mention of Rheumatil, except at the very end and the logo on the top right of the screen. For the entire 150-odd seconds the ad runs, it's all about Sivan and what drives him to walk so much.

The ad makes an important point, "On such journeys (Sivan walking to the post office and then delivering letters), it is easy to encounter aches, pains and sores. The only way to avoid it is to make walking a habit."

The ad, using this point, says at the end, "Joint pains can limit your walking, but should you not limit your journeys. Age, excessive walking or physical activity can lead to joint pain and muscular strain."

The final shot says, "Dabur Rheumatil has been serving and taking care of joint pains for the last 25+ years." It's less of an advert and more of a celebration of Sivan.

“We found it so inspiring that for over a decade, unaffected by his age, Sivan has devoted all his energies to delivering messages to the remotest corners of Coonoor. For us, to pay a tribute to him, it would only be fair if we took his story to the people just the way he had spent his life carrying messages for the people,” says Kapil Ohri, digital marketing head, Dabur India Ltd.

“What fascinated us most was this remarkable feat of walking 15 km each day, not on paved roads or jogging tracks, but through vast plantations and deep jungles, often in the presence of wild animals. In an age where we groan and pull out our phone to book a cab at the mention of walking to the nearby market, such a feat just felt unimaginable.”

“We realised that Sivan would have covered at least 50,000 km over the course of his service, which is the equivalent of going around the Earth and then some. Hence came the idea of telling the story of the Man who walked the Earth,” Ohri added.

However, excessive walking and age can result in a number of joint and muscular injuries, and it is important to take this into account.

“Dabur has long been associated with promoting the simple idea of walking, and with our tribute to Sivan, we wish to take this cause further. We also want to raise awareness around the walking-related stress injuries which, while common, are not spoken about much,” says Dr Durga Prasad, marketing head-ayurveda ethicals, Dabur India Ltd.