PREETI REAL
Harper's Bazaar India|September 2020
With videos that make you laugh-out-loud one minute, then think long and hard the next, Preeti Nair, aka Preetipls, is a veritable YouTube sensation. Not just about the feel-good times, she is also using her platform to do good. She talks to Jeffrey Yan about her successful crowdfunding campaign for migrant workers, the importance of body positivity and when to share the mic
Jeffrey Yan
Preeti Nair has perfected the art of satire for the Internet Age. Her take-no-prisoners videos and sassy raps paint an unvarnished picture of life in Singapore, with all its idiosyncrasies intact. Never one to shy away from calling out uncomfortable truths, Nair has attracted widespread resonance, but also occasional moments of controversy—culminating in last year’s police-issued conditional warning over her clap back to an advertisement that offensively featured brownface.

This April, though, Nair made headlines for an entirely different reason. When the Covid-19 pandemic imploded in Singapore and ravaged the migrant worker community, Nair sprang into action. Together with activist collective Utopia, she started a crowdfunding campaign to benefit HealthServe and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), two organizations dedicated to aiding the migrant community.

The campaign hit its goal of $1,00,000 (₹73 lakh approx) in 12 hours and by the time it ended, raised almost $3,46,000 (₹2.5 crore approx). The funds went into the procurement of essentials such as face masks, hand sanitisers, and care kits; topping-up mobile phone prepaid cards so workers can stay in touch with family members and caseworkers, and ensuring that the clinics for migrant workers run by HealthServe remain open to address whatever health concerns they may have. Here, Nair speaks to us on a range of issues.

ON HER WORK WITH THE MIGRANT WORKER COMMUNITY

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