Wear your seat belt, and hijras will bless you.
In India, transgender people, known as hijras, are thought to be touched by God, and are invited to give blessings at births and weddings. They also often make ends meet exchanging those blessings for cash on the streets. In a new public service announcement, titled “The Seatbelt Crew,” a group of hijiras are seen walking around cars stopped at a traffic light.
In the PSA, the hijiras are taking a new approach to drivers’ safety—reminding them that cars are not airplanes, and as such do not have oxygen masks or flotation devices. What they do have are seat belts: “So why aren’t you wearing it, honey?” asks a hijira, speaking over a megaphone.
In case the drivers need a refresher course, she guides them through how to buckle up. Around her, other hijiras are giving the safety lesson a visual component, mimicking the act of putting on a seat belt.
The speaking hijira concludes, “If you wear your seat belt, we will bless you.”
Since being uploaded onto YouTube on May 5, the original posting alone has gotten nearly two million views.