Of course, India already has soap. And nobody can argue that Unilever sees a huge market for its product there.
What they are promoting is hand washing awareness, and naturally, exploiting a serious health problem to their own benefit, trying to position themselves as the saviors.http://www.unilever.com/brands-in-actio ... oy/292086/
That's just how corporate minds tend to think. Its almost like another realm.
But it is not really that different from the person who makes generous donations to a Buddhist temple
secretly hoping that doing so will bring a favorable rebirth.
there is some merit, but not much.
There is some irony to these kinds of programs, because, obviously, a civilization as old as India wouldn't have survived if some hygiene basics hadn't been handed down through the generations, and this is true for the countries of Africa as well. So, why would you need an outsider to come in and tell you this stuff, tell you not to poop upstream, tell you to wash your hands before preparing food? The irony is that the interruption of culture, of the passing down of this very knowledge and life skills, is due largely in part to European invasion in the first place, which often caused the breakup of villages, the displacement of rural populations, and the eradication of a cultural setting in which such knowledge is passed from parents and grand parents to children.
So, while one can certainly see this as more multinational corporate meddling,
one might also regard this as a way of fixing a problem one has caused.
As I mentioned before, the corporate population is a little bit different than it was 30 years ago.
It's not all
fat white men puffing on cigars,
although profit is still their primary concern.
Many companies have already set an example of global resposibility,
and when that happens,
other companies often think they must out-do the competition.
They also must respond to the ethical demands of a world community
and even if it is only lip service at first,
sometimes that is how the seeds of change get planted.