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Swiggy attempts to change ‘desi masala’ narrative to spices, and not objectionable images of wome

Earlier last week, in an attempt to change the narrative around how women are perceived, Swiggy posted a campaign around ‘desi masala’. The Bengaluru-based foodtech unicorn’s Women’s Day campaign was a sincere attempt to change the search results of when one looked up for ‘desi masala’ on the internet. Swiggy wrote:

“Sooo… an image search of ‘desi masala’ shows pictures of women, NOT masala…This Women’s Day, we’re trying to change that result. To help, upload an image of any masala or dish, add ‘desi masala’ in the caption, and search engines may pick it up!”

A quick ‘desi masala’ search on Google floods one’s screen with objectionable images of women with objectionable captions, instead of images of Indian spices. To change this narrative on International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, Swiggy urged internet users to upload images of spices on their social media handles, adding ‘desi masala’ in the caption, in an attempt that search engines pick it up.

Neitzens and brands on social media platforms supported the initiative and posted images of spices to change the narrative.

Indian spices brand Annapoorna Masalas & Spices tweeted that it stands with Swiggy.

In fact, on-demand hyper-delivery startup Dunzo backed Swiggy with a ‘punny’ tweet.

As the world celebrates Women’s month, having discussions around feminism, a simple internet search will tell a different story alltogether. Women are but still treated as commodities. While this initiative by Swiggy is a great start, there is a long way to go before search results and perspectives change.

On International Women’s Day, Swiggy thanked everyone who tweeted about images of spices and wrote:

“Your entries were the first, and the biggest step towards cleaning up the search. We hope you think of and tag desi masala in all your food pictures, Women’s Day or not, until we see some good ol’ haldi on the page.”

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