Tata Tea’s latest marketing campaign has generated a million e-signatures calling for mandatory gender sensitisation classes in Indian schools – before boys’ negative ideas about women can take root
The scene is an Indian middle-class living room. A young girl tells her mother she is going out to play badminton with her brother. The mother, without looking up from chopping vegetables, says a firm “no” – the boy may go, but the girl has to stay and help her in the kitchen.
It’s a dialogue that can be heard in infinite permutations across millions of Indian homes every day. But this exchange forms part of a TV advert by Tata Tea, a global conglomerate whose accompanying petition urging the Indian government to make gender sensitisation classes mandatory in schools has now collected almost 1 million signatures – the point at which Tata Tea will deliver it to the minister in charge of India’s education policy.