If Shahrukh Khan and sex influence movie sales, then the feeling of helplessness and the desire to change it influences nonprofit donations. The idea of making the world a better place is a huge driving force. The most important question for a charity organization is, how can they best portray their cause and the plight of the situation to their public?
This brings us to Nanhi Kali, the brains behind The Girl Store. They also work with different NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) to implement education for girls at the grass root level. It’s a noble cause, indeed! Having said that, the obvious problem is out there: The life of a girl child in India is not easy. If they are not facing the sex trade, they face discrimination and/or violence.
Getting back to the question, how does an organization portray the plight of these young Indian girls? Answer: The Girl Store. I urge you to take a look at the website. Make sure you record your very first impression and then come back to read the rest: The Girl Store
When I saw the site, my first impression was discomfort. It was almost scary looking at those girls, who clearly have dampened spirits in their eyes and are all fidgeting with the helm of their shirts or kurtas. It gives you the feeling of despair – you want to just go hug them and say â€¦ Please smile â€¦ please! Once that emotion overrides you, you will see what I saw.
First you see 9 girls and their plights, so openly, almost nakedly, being portrayed to the world. Now I ask you to look closer. It is not 9 girls – there are just 4 girls dressed differently. Look at the images below. (click for larger)
Feel deceived, don’t you? That feeling of despair almost gets overwritten with a feeling of What the F*ck!. Take for example, this donor’s good intention in giving Binny a chance to go to school. But is it Binny, Nairit or Chandini?
This, by all means, crosses ethical boundaries. Not only is the company deceiving its viewers, they are essentially playing with our emotions. This is not to say that the company doesn’t do good work. They probably have done some great work for education of girls in India, but this blatant deception undermines all the work they do.
The first class that they should take is:
Nonprofit 101: Do Not Deceive
About the author:
Priya is a social media enthusiast who works in the Bay area. You can connect with her on twitter @shahpriya.