A new commercial in India, made by Vicks, has gone viral as it features a little girl and her transgender mother.
“Against all odds, Gauri is raising orphaned Gayatri as her own,”
The 3 ½ minute long spot is a true story told from the perspective of Gayatri, a teenage girl who is looking out her bus window on her way to boarding school. She is attending the school because her mother wants her to be a doctor. She tells the story of how her birth mother was taken away in an ambulance when she was just 6 years old and never came back. Her new mother stepped in to raise her. The actors in the spot are the actual people in the story.
Gayatri’s new mother is Gauri Sawant, a transgender woman. Gayatri tells the story of how Sawant was kicked out of her own home at the age of 18. She was a friend of her birth mother and Sawant is fighting for the right to adopt her daughter. Currently, transgender people are not legally allowed to adopt In India. “In our civics text books, we read that everyone is entitled to the same basic rights,” Gayatri says in the commercial. “Then why is my mom denied them? This is why I’m not going to be a doctor, but a lawyer. For my mom.”
Gauri Sawant is an activist for transgender people and was one of the original petitioners to challenge the Indian government for equal rights and recognition for the transgender community. The advertisement closes by saying, “Against all odds, Gauri is raising orphaned Gayatri as her own,” and follows with, “Everyone deserves the touch of care.” The advertisement features no products other than the Vicks logo and slogan that reads, “Caring for families for generations.” The spot has received over 9 million views on YouTube.