Brief Nand Ghar is Vedanta Resources’ ambitious initiative to advance the government’s Anganwadi programme (mother and child care centers), bringing accessibility of early education, health care and women’s empowerment programmes to rural India. They are present in 16 states, and 4000 are planned.
To showcase the project, and to win support from government constituencies and the general public, we were approached to create a coffee-table book highlighting Vedanta’s efforts.
Strategy In early conversations with the client and outside constituents, we realised that the mixed results from the Anganwadi programme were bound to be inherited by Nand Ghars. Besides, simply listing achievements would invite scepticism and smack of corporate PR.
Accordingly, we planned a book that could be seen as much as a report rather than a lush object designed to praise the company, as the original coffee-table book brief suggested. Similarly, focusing on the investments in physical infrastructure would invite the same criticism.
To bypass skepticism, we decided to create an engaging document that generated affection for the beneficiaries of the Nand Ghars. It would show the facilities in the background while making children and the Nand Ghar workers the subjects of the story. Human stories are undeniable.
Simultaneously the people narrative, in pictures, allows a deeper look at the project to focus on its unquantifiable impact rather than dry facilities.
Design The design is in essence a coffee-table book, in that it is readable at glance, dominated by photographs supported by short write-ups. But it is without the grandeur typical to coffee-table books, which would have sat oddly with its rural context. This principle and the people narrative guided the writing, the aesthetic approach and the photography.
Content The book gives the reader a sense of a day at the Nand Ghar—from the break of dawn—witnessing its activity as the day unfolds. A balanced emphasis on the facilities, human narratives, and expert essays on education, health and women’s empowerment are interspersed through the book. On the one hand, they provide substance and make evident the value of these interventions, and on the other carry an emotional charge. Words always support pictures, so the information is not burdensome.
Visual Design The bold use of colour signals the world of the child. It also evokes the Nand Ghar’s insertion of hope and vibrancy against the backdrop of rural India. Rural India also provides such colour contrasts: the brilliant against the bleak. The mixed-case lettering on the cover, cropped images of illustrations from the facilities, and the building of a childlike ‘school’ vibe—done with disarming lack of authoritativeness—emphasises education. It highlights the book’s role as a report without the glossy attempt of a glorified corporate achievement.
Partner-in-charge Itu Chaudhuri | Creative Director & Art Director Richa Bhargava | Design Development Sukanya Baskar | Creative Photography Samar Singh Jodha | Writing Jairam Seshadri and ICD | Webpage Photography Palash Jain