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Edible jewellery is the newest addition to the Iron over Gold campaign

A screengrab from the Invest in Iron commercial

A screengrab from the Invest in Iron commercial   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

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The cause egging Indian women to increase their iron intake is taking their message beyond the realm of social media. The next step: edible jewellery

They say the medium is the message. If that is true, then, in this case, the message was edible — fitting, since its aim was to raise awareness about anaemia and women’s nutrition.

Project Streedhan, a campaign to create a conversation among urban Indian women about iron deficiency, prevalent in most of them, has been making itself visible on social media for a while now. The campaign, however, has grown beyond our phone screens and beyond the celebrity endorsements — the hashtag #InvestInIron and a video that has garnered over 8.63 lakh views on YouTube are proof.

Worth the weight

To drive home the point that this Dhanteras, what is more important than gold is the iron that women should be consuming for the sake of their health, the team paired up with designers Megha Joshi and Himani Grover to create edible jewellery.

“They were made of iron-fortified gummies (an alternative to iron pills and liquid iron supplements),” explains Swati Bhattacharya, who conceptualised the entire campaign over a phone call from San Francisco, USA. “We can’t prescribe to people that they eat it; the jewellery was more of a token reminder [about the issue] that we could put up at jewellery stores,” she adds.

A piece from the edible jewellery collection

A piece from the edible jewellery collection   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Her decision to team up with designer Joshi — “I am a big fan of her,” says Swati — and jewellery maker Grover has clearly paid off. The ruby-red and gold coloured pieces fit right in with the displays of any jewellery store, and have also helped make jewellers feel more concerned about the problem. “We put them up at some jewellery stores in Gurgaon. I was pleasantly surprised when the jewellers themselves offered to do a bit more, and print a message about anaemia in the cash memo,” recalls Swati.

She adds that a second YouTube video is in the offing. “It is titled What’s Your Bloody Problem, and discusses issues related to iron content in blood,” she says.

The video currently online, though lighter, carries a message that is still pertinent — the importance of eating well — through visuals that seem oddly unusual, of sari-clad women simply enjoying platefuls of traditional food.

Swati adds that she is tired of her screen being full of women smiling at bowls of salad. “I find it odd that images of women chewing, licking and burping are seen as ‘wrong’,” she says, adding that this creates behavioural constraints even among women who have access to all the nutrition they need. “The sight of a woman simply enjoying what she eats enough to forget who is watching... why is that so radical?” she concludes.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 1:11:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/edible-jewellery-is-the-newest-addition-to-the-iron-over-gold-campaign/article29798851.ece

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