New Delhi: A 9-year-old girl in Guwahati refused to drink a juice contending that the beverage was meant for “him”, referring to the packaging which carried an image of a boy in school uniform.
“Real fruit juices can be consumed only by boys?” the girl asked her father, Mriganka K Majumdar, referring to the packaging of juice carton, which had an image of a boy in school uniform with a caption, “something that’s good for your child should also make him smile”.
The matter was taken up by union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi after the girl’s father wrote a letter to Ms Gandhi claiming that the packaging of the beverage was discriminatory.
“I was caught aback and could not reply to her (sic),” Mr Majumdar said, adding that Dabur’s ‘Real’ juice brand needs “to show some respect to our daughters”.
The company has denied the charges of gender discrimination.
“Let me reassure you that the use of the term ‘him’ on the pack is not gender-specific and was used in a more general sense to connote children and not any specific gender,” an official statement issued by Dabur read.
They, however, have agreed to change the packaging to avoid “any such misunderstanding in the future”.
It also said, “In the point raised by Mr Majumdar, we would like to state that the Real Fruit Power product pack also carries the picture of a happy family of four, including a girl child.”
Rejecting the company’s claim, Mr Majumdar said, “It’s misleading on the part of Dabur to say that the pack also carries a girl’s image because that is not true. The 200 ml pack of ‘Real’ juice only has an image of a boy in a school uniform. However, the bigger 1 litre pack also has an image of a girl.”
But, “I am happy that they have decided to make changes,” he added.
Ms Gandhi said she took up the matter with the company to “send a message out and set a precedent for future.”