Best Public Service Announcement Ever

Like in the US, local TV in India has PSA announcements, too. This seat-belt campaign commercial is AWESOME on so many levels. It features Hijra (transgendered people, aka the Third Gender) dressed as flight attendants, giving drivers at a traffic light safety instructions in a manner similar to what is done on airplanes before take-off. LOVE IT. The commercial starts at the 0:54 mark, before that the you tube clip offers some context about the filming of the commercial. See:

It’s great to see the Hijra –who are often alienated by families and denied meaningful employment (their “touched by god”status notwithstanding) — featured with such dignity. Although not mentioned explicitly in the background info, many are reduced to begging –e,g., trading blessings for cash at traffic stops or from shop owners. Whilst their blessing are considered powerful (hence the reason for having them at weddings & births), their curses are also thought to be extraordinarily powerful. It’s often fear of their curse rather than desire for blessings that motivates people and business to offer them money. This further serves to alienate them from mainstream society.

Go seatbelt crew!


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