The other day I saw an ad on TV that spoke of the dire state of education for everyone especially in rural India. It shows a little girl sitting under a tree talking to herself saying that she can't go to help her mother cook today and that she can't help out in the fields - because she is going to school today. And then the sponsor, a large FMCG conglomerate puts a message saying that out of every sale, some portion would go towards rural children's education. 'Padhega India, tabhi toh Badhega India' the catch line says.
A friend of mine who lives in a first world nation remarked to me the other day that now that summer was imminent, there were loads of hoardings and advertisements on TV relating to sport. Rollerblading, soccer, everything that can best be played and enjoyed in sunshine, when the world isn't covered in snow. And she told me about a certain set of ads by a hardware store, that said, 'Buy here, so our children can play!' It seems that that ad had kids of different races each staring into the camera with a line above their faces that read - 'I only want a tennis racket' or 'I only want a pair of cleats' or 'I only want a pair of inline skates' and so on. The ad apparently ended with a bunch of kids entering a hockey field in uniforms and in place of their names on the back of their jerseys, they had the names of each of the store's products. The purport was that the store was involved in CSR towards ensuring underprivileged children could play.
The irony hit me. Call it Marie Antoinette, but India sure has a long way to go!