Loudly painted rustic sign boards, with- “Use Dipper At Night” and “Horn OK Please” are a common sight in India, seen at the rear of almost all trucks. And according to a survey, 6 million trucks on the India roads have this message on the backside. Inspired by their catchy and colourful canvas as meant to warn other drivers on the road and maintain safety, Tata Motors has launched a condom brand ‘Dipper,’ especially to spread awareness about safe sex, to the truckers’ community. It costs only 3 Rs each.
Tata Motors is the largest truck producer in the country, and wants to promote safe sex amongst drivers. Truckers, who often get lonely during long distance journeys, visit sex workers. They are exposed to high risk of conceiving sexually transmitted diseases, even HIV.
According to a survey, around 2 million truck drivers visit sex workers and only 11.4 % of them use condoms and over 16% of them suffer from AIDS. Truckers suffering from HIV or STD are more likely to spread it to others, even their spouses.
Now the question was, how to spread awareness throughout the trucker community?
They are mostly on the road, and sometimes travel to remote parts of the country, where there is no TV or radio, let alone internet. Keeping all these points in mind, and to spread awareness feasibly, the condom was named, ‘Dipper.’
Dazzling “truck art” has been used to urge truckers to buy these condoms. It is a concept the trucker will readily relate with. As such, long-distance truck drivers spend more of their time on the road, and no better way to promote safe sex amongst their community, than having it advertised it on the back of trucks. Uttio Majumdar, head of operations, at Rediffusion,
“It is difficult to use traditional media to reach drivers because they are always on the road. Naming the condoms Dipper turns every truck with the words “Use Dipper at Night” into a billboard for safe sex
According to the annual report of the National AIDS Control, 2.59% of the trucker population in India was affected by HIV in 2011. Keeping this in mind, Tata Motors has collaborated with Transport Corporation of India Ltd. (TCI) and a communication agency, Rediffusion, and so far they have distributed 45,000 condoms at the foundation’s health centers for truckers.
Watch this traditionally styled video to understand why this project was initiated and how it is helping truckers to practice safe sex: