Leaving No One Behind – Inclusion Matters!

A few days back when I was usually scrolling down on the Facebook, I came across a recent TVC of Blue Band, before playing the TVC, I had speculated it would be a typical ad promoting the brand itself. However, I was beyond astounded to notice that the ad actually covered a compelling issue that is not prevalent but also often has its existence ignored in the mainstream society. The ad beautifully portrays how we can generate awareness, acceptance, and integration of the disabled individuals in the mainstream society by upbringing our kids with the principles of inclusion, empathy and caring.

This ad illustrates how society can help to make the disabled individuals realize their full capabilities, talent, and potential, just by changing the attitudes and, creating a healthy, just and fair environment. The ad shows how a group of boys practice a sport in a manner and fair environment that enable their disabled friend to be encouraged to join them for the game. Personally, I have always discouraged usage of the word ‘disabled’ – I have been a strong believer that each individual is capable in a unique way and as far as I have seen, a disabled person always turn his or her mentally, physical or psychological disability into an ability — or I would say they are differently abled.

Having recently worked on a United Nations campaign ‘Six Women Six Inspiration’ under the thematic areas of ‘Leave No one Behind’; where we covered six inspiration stories of Pakistani women who were mentally, physically or psychologically challenged; I came to know about 650 million people in the world or 10 percent of the world’s population – live with disabilities, and frequently encounter a myriad of physical and social obstacles. They often lack the opportunities of the mainstream population and are usually among the most marginalized in society. The timing and crux of the ad perfectly synced with my heart and mind. It instantly reminded me of my cousin who is physically challenged but her spirit is free, her heart is free, her dreams are free, and she has been working to fulfill her dream – a dream was to serve the people of Pakistan – she has achieved it by joining Pakistan Air Force, and serving gracefully.

It is time for all of us – regardless of our age group, faith, gender, location or language – to break the stigma, because, inclusion matters!

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In the recent years, there has been a concrete and growing trend of focusing on social issues in the advertising industry and it’s been managed sensibly.

Add yours: What do you think of this ad? Do you know of any individual who is differently able and has defied societal pressure and cultural norms? Sound off in the comments section.

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