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L&M SPECIAL

Bridging the divide through development communication

Life&More March 25, 2019
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Shreya Garg

Why do we call some people as privileged? Is there a tool with which one can bridge the gap between privileged and underprivileged class?
Seema Gupta, a woman from a low socio-economic strata, calls herself privileged. For her, financial position became a deterrent in her personal struggle. However, in her opinion, she was able to bring herself to a privileged position by making use of communication for a good cause, in the best possible way. Communication for a cause is called development communication, and has indeed worked wonders for Seema and her family.
LEVERAGE THE NEW AGE MEDIA
One doesn’t even realise how humans across the globe are willing to serve humanity. Humanity is not restricted to any geography, creed, religion and caste. With the help of new age media, people in duress with lack of sustainable means to support themselves can ask for help by going public. When Seema’s daughter had been diagnosed with thalassaemia, she did all that any parent would do. Now eight-year-old Ananya, was hospitalised, at the time of diagnosis, in the two most prominent Delhi hospitals. However, doctors feckless attitude and no progress in their daughter’s treatment led the parents take more proactive measures.

Luckily, Ananya’s father, Vipin Kumar Gupta background in media sector led him to leverage communication which resulted into an unprecedented widespread campaign. The couple made pages on Facebook and Google with the name “Save Ananya”. The page was run on various media channels to bring it to people’s attention. Their cumulative efforts in the direction of communication came to fruition within a short span of time. People from across the globe were rooting, and giving hope to the family. Many benefactors came forward to help contribute in the treatment of the little girl.
COMMUNICATION HELPS PUT PEOPLE IN LOOP
A treatment the family couldn’t think to afford was made possible with the help of development communication. The proud parents regularly connect with the followers of the page and had gleefully announced the successful treatment of their daughter some time back. Also, regular updates about the funds garnered and their expenditure details are shared with their beloved followers. Regular videos and images of the girl child, Ananya, are shared which has strengthened the bond of followers with the family. Such is the power of communication, it can make virtual moments very evocative and personal.


MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH COMMUNICATION
Seema is now voluntarily and pro bono lending her services to an organisation called Gene Bandhu which helps patients with rare bone marrow or blood disorder ailments by creating awareness with the help of campaigns, workshops, and lectures. After having realised the importance of communication in her difficult times when everything else failed, she is now committed to the cause with the help of development communication wholeheartedly. She visits universities, holds workshops and create campaigns to spread awareness about a noble cause. She describes her experience of having helped 25 lives so far through her awareness efforts as exhilarating and empowering. She urges others to step up and leverage development communication as a tool to bridge the various kinds of divide through communication.

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