Indian Journal of Burns

: 2014  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Mass media magic- the power to Empower

Vinita Puri 
 Editor-in-Chief Indian Journal of Burns, India

Correspondence Address:
Vinita Puri
Head, Department of Plastic Surgery, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai - 400012, Maharashtra

How to cite this article:
Puri V. Mass media magic- the power to Empower.Indian J Burns 2014;22:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Puri V. Mass media magic- the power to Empower. Indian J Burns [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Feb 1 ];22:1-2
Available from:

Full Text

Recently while surfing through TV channels, I came across one of the daily Hindi soaps where a female was furiously pouring kerosene over her head and shoulders. She was holding a lit lighter in her hands and threatening to immolate herself. Luckily her husband acceded to her demands and the threat did not materialize (or at least till the next crisis arose). My thought was, if this was real life and had she slipped, she would have taken a step from where onward her life would literally have been akin to "Dante's Inferno."

While researching suicidal burns in women, I had wondered at some of the frivolous reasons for which the the women had caused themselves such grievous self harm. [1] Some of them were very young including school girls and possibly had not appreciated the irreversibility of their actions. Sadly, not one of those who burn themselves has any idea of what they will go through if they do not succumb immediately. The process of healing in survivors is tortuous and painful leaving behind many scars and often crippling deformities. Movies (the largest mass media in our country) unwittingly portray survivors returning to a normal appearance as before. It is essential that we harness the power of media for adequate and correct public awareness about the aftermath of a burn injury and educate people about the morbidity associated with severe burns. How I wish more people know about this morbidity.

We desperately need a Brand Ambassador for "Burns" who will repeatedly tell people what to do and what not to do! The ambassador will not only help educate the masses on aspects of prevention but also speak of burn related morbidity stressing the slogan "prevention is better than cure". Only constant reminders will probably finally reduce the accidental burn victims in our country. It can also help reduce the social/suicidal burns by women in our country.

Every time I see Mr. Bachchan, the brand ambassador for Gujarat, endorsing the state through the 'Khusboo Gujarat Ki' television campaign I long to be there at the Rann. Tourism of Gujarat has grown by 14 per cent, since Mr. Bachchan started extolling the beauty of Gujarat and inviting people to visit the state! [2] That's the power of the media and a powerful brand ambassador.

We must move toward harnessing the power of media to better educate the people. Another aspect where media could help is that of skin donation. The campaign regarding "eye donation" is a classical example with well-known film personalities pledging their eyes, thus enhancing its acceptability and awareness. Other organ donation is also being accorded adequate media glare. The media exposure highlighting how recently some very busy roads of Chennai were cleared so organs could be transported in the shortest possible time has demonstrated how cooperation between the government and a hospital can lead to very impressive results culminating in many individuals being given a second chance at life. Sadly skin donation has not yet got the exposure it deserves. In spite of considerable efforts on awareness drives by the skin banks, laypersons, and many doctors too are unaware that skin is also an organ which can be donated. Considering the number of burn injured in our country it is very much the need of the hour. Though donations have been steadily increasing in most banks the numbers continue to be grossly inadequate to cope with the need and this is something we as burn specialists need to address at the earliest.

In this issue as well as the last we have reviews of documentary films on Burns. I hear from some of my colleagues that more films on burns are in the offing. Do send them in to the editorial office so we may get them reviewed and bring them to the notice of all those involved in burn care.

This issue of the journal has many interesting articles, and I have enjoyed all of them. The articles touch upon varied topics ranging from pure research to the clinical, epidemiological, and social aspects of Burns. My personal favorites are Guru Speak, the article on post-burn pruritus and the untold story of collagen dressings.

I hope you do enjoy reading the journal as much as I do editing it! We look forward to receive your best work and also to share your experiences with all of us in the form of letters to editor.

Do write in to us with your valuable feedback.


1Puri V. A retrospective analysis of suicidal burns in Indian women. Indian J Plast Surg 2000;33:73-7.