Farhan Akhtar is BMC's new poster boy

Updated: Jun 16, 2018, 09:38 IST | Hemal Ashar

Actor becomes face of public health initiative EkChammachKam, which talks about preventing non-communicable diseases

Farhan Akhtar is BMC's new poster boy
BMC's posters and hoardings featuring Farhan Akhtar at Parel and Dadar stations

Farhan Akhtar has been roped in by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Public Health Department as the face of its campaign EkChammachKam. The campaign, in partnership with city non-profit Amar Gandhi Foundation, will create awareness about non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as high blood pressure, obesity and high blood sugar. BMC officials have described the campaign as "high-impact". Civic chief Ajoy Mehta said the BMC had taken 50-plus bus shelters, hoardings and railway station boards to promote the campaign across Mumbai.

Number crunching
Mehta said the EkChammachKam campaign was aimed at making people aware about the grave nature of NCDs and the importance of dietary changes and exercise in one's life. Additional Municipal Commissioner I A Kundan backed Mehta, and said, "Non-communicable diseases are major killers. We thought this needs to be addressed." Akhtar cited the World Health Organisation's (WHO) report on NCDs, number crunching as he said, "Nearly 61 per cent of deaths in India are now attributed to non-communicable diseases. Out of these, cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, stroke, and hypertension) contribute to 45 per cent, followed by chronic respiratory disease (22 per cent), cancer (12 per cent) and diabetes (3 per cent). These are preventable if we reduce the intake of salt, sugar and oil in our diet, and become physically active." Amar Gandhi Foundation's Dr Bhupendra Gandhi said the name of the campaign is self-explanatory. "Have just #EkChammachKam of salt, sugar and oil every day", that is how simple it is. Too much sodium in a person's diet can be harmful.

 BMC's posters and hoardings featuring Farhan Akhtar at Parel and Dadar stations

It causes blood to hold fluid, and this in turn raises blood pressure and puts a strain on the heart as well." EkChammachKam was originally developed by The Network, a marketing and PR content specialist firm, for Amar Gandhi Foundation. Reeta Gupta, founder, The Network, explained the catch line. "Slogans have to be both measurable and memorable. EkChammachKam converts a very sharp message, packaged in a very tiny slogan. Remember you are targeting the man or woman in a hurry, so you need to pack a punch but in a way that will be remembered and absorbed by the public. You cannot complicate the slogan."

Bollywood punch
The BMC has often used famous names and faces to reinforce its campaigns. Salman Khan had extended his support to the BMC's open defecation free campaign last year. The actor had visited a slum near Goregaon's Film City to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, accompanied by Mehta and a few senior BMC officials. Akshay Kumar was the next brand ambassador for its campaign on Open Defecation Free city. Kumar was picked because of his film, Toilet-Ek Prem Katha.

The number of bus shelters, hoardings and railway station boards to promote the campaign across Mumbai

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