Released ahead of the International Transgender Day of Visibility, Vicks India has produced a heart-warming ad that stands up for trans equality.
The three-minute-long advert tells the true story of transgender activist Gauri Sawant, who adopted Gayatri, a young orphaned girl.
Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, the Touch of Care video shows Gayatri on her way to boarding school with her mom.
She talks about how she lost her birth mother, how she was adopted and the struggles that Sawant has gone through in her life.
The ad highlights the stigma facing transgender people in India and how Gayatri wants to make a difference that will benefit her mother when she grows up.
“My Civics book says that everyone is entitled to basic rights,” says Gayatri. “Then why is my mother denied them? That’s why I want to become a lawyer, not a doctor… for my mother.”
Transgender people in India are being increasingly legally empowered following a 2014 ruling by the Supreme Court ordering the government to officially recognise them as full citizens. Known as Hijra in India and South Asia, transgender people often organise in communities but also face poverty and many are forced into begging or sex work to survive.
The Transgender Day of Visibility, marked on 31 March, is an opportunity to show support for the trans community. It aims to focus on empowerment and the achievement of transgender people instead of only the violence and discrimination that’s often depicted in the media.