INDIA. Mumbai: The teachers across the country are agitated over the commercial advertisement of “Bisleri”, mineral water, that allegedly seeks to ridicule a teacher for his lack of knowledge of COVID-19 protocol to avoid contact.
The TV commercial in English and Hindi shows a teacher addressing a class of camels in the desert, aiming to enforce the COVID-19 message. However, the camels ridicule him for not knowing the importance of going “contactless”. The teacher then attempts to drink water from a pot ( Matka) by dipping his steel mug into it. This evokes more hysteria from the camels. They tease the teacher for being unaware of Bisleri’s contactless mineral water, bottled in hygienic conditions. A camel then tutors the teacher that “Samajhdaar Bisleri Peete Hai”( smart people drink Bisleri) and tosses him a bottle of the drink.
However, the advertisement has irked the teaching fraternity, which feels that there is no need to ridicule the teacher in this manner. Akhil Bhartiya Rashtriya Shaikshik Mahasangh (ABRSM), Maharashtra, in a letter dated May 03, 2021, to the CEO of Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd(BIPL), Mumbai, has condemned the advertisement saying that it seeks to damage the image of teachers and as such it should be immediately withdrawn with an unconditional apology.
“The ABRSM highly condemns this commercial advertisement where the teachers dignity and image are wrongly projected. There are ethics in the making of the advertisement. No one can make a mockery of any profession through such advertisement We therefore strongly demand that this commercial advertisement be withdrawn from electronic media and same should not appear in print media as well. We also expect an unconditional apology to avoid the further course of action against Bisleri”, ABRSM general secretary Dr. Vaibhav Narwade said.
Rajasthan Private Education Mahasangh, Ajmer, in a letter dated April 28, 2021, has also expressed similar sentiments. Similarly, the Rajasthan Senior TeachersAssociation (RSTA) President Darshan Menaria, in his tweet said, “We the teachers of India condemn Bisleri for its disgraceful comments about teachers… The preceptor #ShameonyouBisleri #BoycottBisleri.”
Reena Yadav, a lecturer-teacher-writer-poetess and nature in a tweet said, “This is not acceptable. This ad is disgusting and disrespectful to teachers. Don’t degrade the nobility of this profession.” She also used the hashtags #WithdrawBislerycamelschoolad, #boycottbisleriindia, #boycottbisleri.
While the company shows a teacher and a camel aiming at reinforcing consumers’ trust and raise awareness about the difference between the original Bisleri and counterfeit alternatives in the market, the teachers on social media are pouring their heart out alleging that such advertisements are not acceptable as they degrade the nobility of their profession.
Bisleri claims that its mineral water contains magnesium sulphate and potassium bicarbonate, which are essential minerals for healthy living. They not only maintain the pH balance of the body but also help in keeping you fit and energetic at all times.
When contacted for clarification about the controversial advertisement, Anjana Ghosh, director – marketing and business development, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd did not respond to an email sent. Similarly attempts to get in touch with company officials by telephone did not evoke any response.