Last year, Sofia Ashraf rapped a parody of Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda Won’t!’ to draw the attention of the world to Hindustan Unilever Limited’s poisonous Kodaikanal plant affecting the health of many workers. Least did anybody know that her rap will create ripples but it did and the workers were compensated soon.
However, Ashraf’s fight has not ended yet. In association with Jhatkaa.org, a campaigning organisation, Ashraf has released a new video, this time against the numerous misleading statements HUL has been making all these years. According to Divya Narayanan, a campaigner at Jhatkaa.org, this video is their response to the business giant.
Following the uproar her previous video and wide protests against Unilever created, the company released reports that justified their stand on the Kodaikanal issue. And Ashraf questions exactly that in her latest video, which also is the second phase of the #Unileverpollutes campaign. She questions the validity of the many claims the company’s CEO Neil Polman has put forth, including that HUL did not dump mercury in Kodaikanal!
She highlights why the battle is still probably not even half won, given the fact that 1.3 tonnes of mercury waste have been dumped in the Pambar Shola reserve forest in Tamil Nadu. When just 1 gram of mercury released every year into the water can cause severe damage to the aquatic life, Ashraf alleges that HUL has illegally sold industry waste contain 440-kg mercury to scrap merchants. Not only that but some mercury-laden scrap glass from Unilever’s factory was sold to toy-makers who made marbles that children play with.
Jhatkaa.org is an organisation which is committed to mobilise and help people take action collectively on issues that interest or affect them, in effective and innovative ways. Ashraf’s popular Kodaikanal Won’t rap video was also released by jhatkaa.org.