AN IDOL ROOTED IN TRADITION
For over 500 years, Indians have been celebrating Durga Puja, fondly called Pujo, a festival that marks the victory of Hindu Goddess Durga over evil.
And every year, more than 104 million people across economic, social and cultural strata gather in Pandals (festival grounds) to celebrate and worship idols of Goddess Durga together.
According to tradition, these idols must contain one essential element: soil from outside brothels, given free-willingly by sex workers.
A DISCRIMINATORY CELEBRATION
The irony of Pujo is that the same sex workers who are indispensable in the idol’s creation are excluded from even attending its celebration.
To challenge the status quo of this centuries-old discriminatory practice without seeming insensitive to religion, was the task at hand.
MAKING TRADITION INCLUSIVE
Indian festivals are a melange of unique traditions that are not to be questioned. The tradition of asking sex workers for soil to make Durga Maa’s idol, only to exclude them from celebrating Pujo, is no exception.
Through a compelling film, told from the perspective of an idol maker, we questioned the conscience of society.
When a sex worker’s innocent daughter wonders ‘why she never gets to see any of the idols’, the idol maker, for the first time in history, realises the discriminatory impact of this Pujo tradition.
He asks, and encourages society to ask The Second Question: “Will you join us in Pujo celebrations?”
+16.5 Million people reached
+14 million views across platforms
600% increase in engagement
#TheSecondQuestion organically trended on Twitter
Thought leaders came out in support of inclusion of sex workers
And our biggest achievement was when Pujo Pandals willingly invited sex workers to be a part of celebrations, actually making a discriminatory tradition inclusive.