Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Project: Dharavi Diligence

A cultural movement to curb COVID‑19 

Mumbai’s Dharavi is one of the largest and most densely populated slums in Asia, making social distancing nearly impossible. Our #StayHomeStaySafe campaign was instrumental in preventing a disastrous outcome, earning praise from the World Health Organization (WHO).

01The challenge

Dharavi has a local culture with multiple dominant languages, high rates of illiteracy and toilet facilities shared by multiple households. Preventing the spread of COVID-19 would require some creativity.

02The solution

Staying home, isolating and practicing good hygiene are a few ways to limit the spread of COVID. To encourage this behavior, we combined culture, humor and rhyme to create an easily understood prevention movement.

We collaborated with the local youth of Dharavi to create a multi-language rap anthem that lyricized the need for social distancing, hand-washing and mask wearing. Combined with government-imposed measures, posters and shareable animations, we launched #StayHomeStaySafe with a music video featuring Bollywood celebrities lip-syncing some of its hard-hitting lines.

03The impact

Preventing a surge

Earning praise from WHO, our campaign was instrumental in halting the spread of COVID in Dharavi. By December 2021, total active cases stood at just 12, which is remarkable given Dharavi’s compact environment with nearly a million residents. And the catchy video was viewed over 1M times within the day of its launch, growing to 200M by the end of the year across TV, print, digital and radio.

2021 Winner: PR Awards Asia

2021 Winner: PRWeek Global Awards


2021 Winner: IPRA Golden World Awards

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