THE ANAEMIA PROJECT (2010)
Guide Tarun Deep Girdher, National Institute of Design
This social communication project attempted to use Graphic Design to help solve health problems faced by poor, urban women living in slums. After some groundwork, I came up with graphic design interventions in the system of Iron supplementation programmes initiated by the Government to improve efficacy and prevent hazards.
My solution identified basic issues like low awareness of Anaemia, not knowing Anaemia by its name and insufficient information on proper consumption of the tablets.
This specific intervention of creating a low-cost kit to be disseminated by the Government and NGOs addressed and hoped to rectify issues like insufficient knowledge of symptoms, side effects, proper intake of tablets and also accidental children’s death due to iron poisoning (a pressing issue since the Iron supplementation programme started.)
The final selected intervention of the ones mentioned above was to intervene from the home, or have her carry some material on her person.
The illustration style was clean and accomplished by linework as preferred by this audience. The colour red is directly linked with blood, haemoglobin and a healthy pink tongue, all associated with ‘iron’ in the body. In fact anaemia is often rightly referred to as ‘rakt ki kami’ or ‘less blood’.
The kit consists of:
a. A purse that houses the material with a plastic sheet embedded inside it (waterproofed)
b. A blister pack of 30 tablets that can collapsed and folded down the middle
c. An accordion booklet with information
d. Square stickers that serve as reminders
The fabric purses above were purchased from the Old City in Ahmedabad. They have several sections with zippers, are quilted and cushioned, and also have a piece of plastic embedded in them, making them waterproof. They are easy to make, out of waste fabric and can also be made at a low-cost by the urban slum-dwelling women themselves, thus providing a source of income.
This prototype kit that was developed would be provided by NGOs or Government IFA programmes and is low cost (printed in one colour). This prototype is in English, but can be translated into colloquial language or dialect of the region that it targets. Even the diagrams allow for modification, with the woman in the diagram being replaced with another wearing the costume of that region as this audience is very particular about these details.
This project is significant neither from an artistic or aesthetic point of view, rather it is an understanding of how rural audiences, who eventually become the urban slumdweller’s perceive images and signs, the value they place on costume and posture. It also takes into account the cost factor of such an endeavour, delivering one complete prototype in the proposed solution.
Please find more information at the blog: The Anaemia Project