A journey started with a single promise- To put an end to Body Shaming. The story of Project චරිත dates back to beginning of February 2022, where a team of more than 50 members consisting of a ten-member Organizing Committee got together to achieve the 16th Sustainable Development Goal set forth by the United Nations’ – “Peace and Conflict Resolution”, which was an initiative under the Project Rota Tomorrow 2.0 organized by the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya.
After extensive research by the team, it was collectively decided that the subject of body shaming was a timely and grave concern which was often overlooked by the community labelling it as something of less importance.
However, with the exponential increase in use of social media, there resulted a growing number of youth suicide rates, falling victim to depression and anxiety due to being subjected to body shaming. Therefore our team, Team Inferno decided to be the pioneers in putting an end to unrealistic body standards and raising awareness on the adverse effects of body shaming. Thus, resulting in our project- Project චරිත, “Analysis of the Mystery Profile”.
The derivation for the project name චරිත came from the English term “Characters” which showcases the authentic and real “Characters” in the society beneath the masks put on by them to hide their hurt and pain. Our slogan “Analysis of the mystery profile” implies our project’s attempt to bring light to body shaming and provide a platform to individuals to share their experiences and reveal their “Mystery Profile”.
Our project consisted of two elements;
- Producing and releasing a short film on body shaming – The main purpose for choosing this specific area was, we wanted the topic of “Body Shaming” to reach a massive audience and more specifically to the youth, and releasing a short film would help us to achieve both these targets.
- Raising awareness through Social Media- The social media campaign followed two segments,
- Social Media Influencer Campaign – Where we reached out to social media influencers requesting them to share video clips of talking about body shaming, their experiences/opinions and advices, and we were successful in getting video clips from:
- Mrs. Stephanie Siriwardhana- A humanitarian, Former Miss Universe Sri Lanka, Artist, TV Host who has an Instagram follower base of 180K and Facebook base of 441K. The video reached 4881 views as she reshared the post on her Instagram platform.
- Mr. Hasintha Hewawasam- A motivational Speaker who has an Instagram Base of 11.4K and Facebook reach of 176K
- Mr. Lakruwan Pllewela- A motivational speaker at ATTITUDE LANKA MOTIVATION – The video was also posted on ATTITUDE LANKA MOTIVATION where it reached a subscriber audience of 2.07K
- Social Media Awareness Campaign- The main purpose of this was to raise awareness on body shaming through sharing individuals’ experiences. For this the team sent out an Instagram Poll labelled “Have you ever been body shamed” and the poll results were released along with real life body shaming comments received by individuals from around the world on social media.
Our Project’s main element was the release of the short film. Therefore, the team got together and within the month of February itself, found a production company to produce the film with standard and professional technicalities which met the standards of telecommunication channels in the country, as our purpose was to release the short film on a Sri Lankan broadcasting network to reach the entire community. The team also found a script writer who produced a master-class script which was professionally reviewed by a Sri Lankan film Producer/Director. The casting for the film was also done professionally, involving audition tapes sent by candidates, shortlisting and sharing materials to master their acting. The majority of the actors were following film and television stream academically.
The short film was then released nation-wide through VAPA Television. Due to high demand, the short film was also published on the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya’s Youtube Channel which gained 1174 views within two days of release with the view count continuing to grow.
This sums up the journey of Team Inferno, the team behind Project චරිත. Looking back, the team has successfully achieved it’s target – Reaching a nation- wide audience and raising awareness on body shaming while making a sustainable and permanent impact on the society.
~ Written by: Rtr. Senudi Vithana | Featured image designed by: Rtr. Pramod Eshan~