Please take a moment to view this website. ‘100% genuine girls.Young. Innocent. And available…’ reads the intro.
They feel the shock value has got them what they aimed for – attention seeking publicity. Ms. Mehta, spokesperson for Mahindra says:
ome were stunned by the name, some said we are promoting child trafficking. But we are doing exactly the opposite. We are saying “buy a girl her life back.”
Mahindra is a billion-dollar business. They could give the money away in the blink of an eye without feeling the pinch. Using crude sexual gimmickry is surely unacceptable by any standards, besides being shameful and disrespectful to the girls in question. It’s crass and revolting.
A few decades ago, we refused child sponsorship which would have ensured hassle free funding for our project with adivasi people in South India. Our donors advised us that accepting the sponsorship would make our lives infinitely easier financially. It would make everything smooth sailing.
But we thought the idea was wrong. In some indefinable way, we felt it was demeaning to the child, to the family and to the community. As a funding strategy it simply lacked dignity.
When I thought about it carefully, though the ad shocked and revolted my sensibilities, at another level, I’m not seriously surprised. Values and ideas about what’s acceptable have changed so drastically in the last two decades that I sometimes feel we are seen as living in another century if we protest about things that outrage us.
In the 21st century, the end appears to justify the means, mostly. It leads me to wonder about a question that has bothered me over the years. Should we take money from a cigarette manufacturer to pay for our impoverished cancer patients?
I was also appalled when I heard that some young women I know were happy to organize a bunny party to raise money for charity. But, apparently only ageing feminists would consider that shocking in the year 2012. The young women were genuinely puzzled. Why not a bunny party? They didn’t get it at all.