Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bell Bajao! Ring The Bell Introduction

Around 35 percent of Indian women suffer from physical violence at the hands of their partners while nearly 40 percent men and women think that it is sometimes or always ‘justifiable’ for a man to beat his wife (UN Women report on Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice, 2011-2012).

The BellBajao! (Ring the Bell!) campaign, launched in India in 2008 by New Media of Breakthrough, is the first multimedia campaign to directly address men in the context of violence, previously a severe taboo in India, and to help men take ownership of interventions to effectively end domestic violence. BellBajao! calls upon men & boys alike to take action and renounce the role of perpetrator or spectator of violence towards women. Supported by an on-the-ground youth mobilization, the multimedia campaign has reached over 130 million people in India. BellBajao! takes a multi-dimensional approach, raising awareness about domestic violence in public service announcement ads aired on national television and radio, organizing gender and human rights training workshops, sending multimedia equipped video vans across the country and working online via prominent channels like Youtube and Vimeo. The BellBajao! blog is one of the few user-generated platforms that encourage the exchange of opinions, studies, experiences or personal stories on issues from gender and violence to sexuality, where virtual discussions sometimes spill over into grassroots action. BellBajao! has won all the major advertising accolades, while its ads have been featured by YouTube on International Women’s Day. BellBajao! has shown thatcritical social media can take on petrified normative social values on a big scale, becoming a pioneering case study to be emulated।

I believe that way of education people is a good tool to prevent violence.
What's also an advantage of this project, in my opinion, is that it is aimed to people of different ages. When being educated about humans' rights, value of life and health from the childhood, I hope, Indian boys will absorb those rules and be able to respect women.


  1. Interestingly this project sparked the most thought and opinions of all the projects for me. 

    On the superficial front I found the ring the bell name/slogan a bit annoying. Perhaps it works better in the original language.  This is just my opinion though and the line worked well in the promotional video they have. Perhaps though a slogan should get more powerful with repetition. As I heard it more and more it weekend in it's message for me. 

    On a more substantial level the project tries to help with domestic violence which is of course a needed and commendable aim. It appears it should have a positive impact on getting cases of violence to be known. 

    However it is only dealing with the first of at least three steps to tackle the violence. The second step should be a simple one but in practice may not be. After hearing about the violence there has to be a way to remove the victim from the violent situation as quickly as possible. I would think this is increasingly complicated when in less developed countries like this targets. 

    Then the third step is no doubt the hardest of them all. How to break the cycle and prevent the offender from being violent to somebody else. This task seems near on impossible and there are many ways to try and go about it through either education and or punishment.  Where the focus should be is a matter of opinion and I certainly don't know. In this area I would think it is made even harder by it being a case of one person against another and proof of violence may not always be obvious. 

    It's clearly a commendable project but after the bell has been rung, the door needs to open and most importantly be closed. In this analogy the slogan works brilliantly!

  2. I noticed a lot of the comments at the pitch were about the same thing, that this is not helping the victims and who will stop the violence next time. I agree, there definitely is a lot more work to do after ringing the bell, and I like dougsymon's analogy.

    But the project has clearly divided itself from being there till the end. It is about ringing the bell, making a statement, breaking a tabu. And it is an important first step on the way to stopping domestic violence, which is plagued by silence and acceptance. I can't believe 40% of people could consider it justifiable in any culture, but it says so here.

    The campaign itself seemed very catchy and effective. But how will they change the culture and the root of the problem? 130 million people reached, how many of them convinced? And there are 1,210,193,422 people in India (wikipedia).