These ads feature actress Mandira Bedi holding up a brasserie alongside messages like, “choose breast cancer prevention” and “Google cant find your breast cancer. You can.”
Their request of putting up the ads on four LED hoardings was however shot down by the TMC who claimed that the creatives were inappropriate to be put up in a public space owned by the corporation. October being the month of breast cancer awareness, WCI had approached both BMC and TMC to allow them to put up the ads.
“ While I apologise if anyone’s sentiments have been hurt, this decision by the TMC angers me. They seem to have such a narrow viewpoint and are not looking beyond the visuals, which by no means was to titillate. No one is standing there to sell lingerie, we are only trying to drive home a point, which will save thousands of women in the city. Breast cancer is reversible if detected early and awareness has to be spread about it,” said Mandira Bedi.
After the in charge of the pollution control department denied permission, WCI even approached the TMC commissioner, R A Rajeev, who refused to change the stance of his junior official.
“We are by no means against the breast cancer awareness initiative. However, we cannot allow certain ads on the corporation’s hoarding boards. WCI is free to go ahead and put it up on private boards. The decision to deny permission was made by a lady officer and I respect her decision “ Rajeev said.
“The middle class population of Thane is unlike that of Mumbai city and we as the corporation have responsibility to ensure that public is not made uncomfortable because of such ads,” he added
Activist Devika Bhojwani, and WCI founder, said it is sad the corporation is denying the woman population of Thane, the knowledge that they deserve to have. “Why this discrimination between Thane women and Mumbai women? They too deserve to be made aware of breast cancer. Government of India has breast feeding awareness campaigns where bare breasts are shown, but those are not looked at with raised eyebrows. Then why this?” she asks.
Meanwhile, BMC health committee chairperson has slammed TMC’s stand and voiced full support to the cause. “Breast cancer is a serious problem. You cannot shy away from reality and make a fuss out of nothing. As a woman and as health committee chairperson, I fully support the cause,” Gawli said.