Raksha Bandhan is a festival of love and bonding between siblings. For some, however, the festival represents nothing more than mean jokes and abuse.
Adopted children often have a hard time adjusting to their new lives or dealing with the fact that they are adopted. And mean jokes on adoption made by other children, relatives or neighbours can have a traumatic effect on adopted children. Especially when they are made on festive occasions like Raksha Bandhan.
A recent advertisement shared by a jewellery selling brand 'Vaibhav Jewellers' has been doing just that - making adoption jokes on Raksha Bandhan.
The store has been running an ad campaign for Rakshabandhan under the hashtag #RelievingSiblingMemories under which they have released a series of ads to sell Rakhis made of gold and other precious metals and stones. One of the ads featured two illustrated children - a boy and a girl - with the caption, "That 'you're adopted' Joke".
The idea is to revisit childhood memories and sibling banter. But while the idea may have been cute, the end result was nothing short of problematic. The ad seems to normalize adoption jokes between non-adoptive children.
Reacting to the ad, a woman named Julia Chandrashekharan has started an online petition on Change.org, demanding a ban on the such "tasteless profiteering" tactics.
"Telling your sibling they are adopted (when they are not) and thus lesser and not loved is disgusting and hurtful to Adoptees. Please come together with us and make your voice heard," Chandrashekharan wrote in the petition.
She urged users to not support such products or companies that try to sell products by capitalising on problematic concepts.
"Our children go through enough. They don't deserve to be the butt of jokes. They don't deserve to be told they are lesser," Chandrashekharan concluded.