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287 million: This is the number of illiterate people in India, which is currently the largest illiterate population in the world. Children aged five through fourteen make up a significant percentage of these 287 million faces. These are children who can’t write their own name. Without access to education, they will grow into adults who leave their thumbprint in place of a signature. This will become their identity, their badge of illiteracy. There is even a name for these children in Hindi: angootha chaap, derogatory slang for an illiterate person.

To draw attention to this plight through a print campaign for the nonprofit Child Rights and You (CRY) America, BBH India transformed the thumbprint into a symbol of the problems these children face. For the imagery, BBH India commissioned Indian artists to recreate fingerprints through paper quilling. Thumbprints were depicted as a maze, valley and forest. A child escapes from each, mimicking the feat that CRY America helps to achieve through its donation drives

bartleboglehegarty.com/mumbai

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