UNESCO hosted the launch of the “India’s Got Colour” campaign in New Delhi, followed by a panel discussion on the issue of colour bias, on 14 October 2019, from 5 pm to 6 pm. The Campaign was kick-started with a 2-minute music video produced by Nandita Das Initiatives with the support of JSW Group. This exciting video manages to bring out the deep-rooted colour bias and the need to embrace all skin tones, celebrating the diversity that exists in India. The main objective of the campaign is to spark a conversation around colourism in India.
UNESCO’s mandate includes the fight against racism and discrimination anytime, anywhere. Standing up against racial discrimination is a key component of UNESCO's work aiming to build peace in the minds of men and women, through education for tolerance, and the rejection of racist stereotypes in our societies or in the media.
The innovative video created by actor-director Nandita Das along with filmmaker Mahesh Mathai and music composer Ankur Tewari, brings together celebrities such as Swara Bhasker, Radhika Apte, Ali Fazal, Divya Dutta, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Tillotama Shome, Vikrant Massey, among many others. They have all worked pro bono to lend their voice to this important issue.
The launch event included a panel discussion between Nandita Das, Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative, and Kavitha Emmanuel, Founder and Director of Women of Worth, who started the Dark Is Beautiful campaign in 2009. Nandita Das been supporting the campaign, since 2013. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the campaign was reinvented and got a more inclusive name, ‘India’s Got Colour’. The panelists discussed how skin colour influences our definitions of beauty, self-confidence, and impacts our everyday actions and life choices.
‘Skin colour bias is simply racism by any other name. It must be confronted just like any other form of bigotry’, said Eric Falt.
“While we must combat the various forms of discrimination based on caste, religion, gender and sexual preference, the least we can do is to end the bias based on skin colour”, added Nandita Das.
"India's Got Colour' is a brave new expression and an extension of the Dark is Beautiful campaign to put an end to the unfair and toxic belief that measures a person's worth and eligibility based on the colour of their skin", said Kavitha Emmanuel, sharing her expertise as mentor, writer and motivational speaker.
Humanity has joined hands to establish a clear pathway towards peaceful and sustainable societies by endorsing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. SDG10 aims to reduce inequalities and its target 10.2 aspires to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status by 2030.
Time to celebrate diversity - 1.3 billion people, and that many shades of skin tones!