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A dialogue session hopes to tackle bullying head on

A dialogue session hopes to tackle the social malaise head on

Filmmaker Rohan Sabharwal vividly remembers being bullied in boarding school. “I was a slow learner, and, as far as I can recollect, I would consistently fail my exams. Because of this, I had a reputation for being dumb, and would be picked upon all the time,” says the 37-year-old.

Founders of the social enterprise Crayon Impact, Rohan Sabharwal and Rachana Iyer will share how they were bullied and how it affected them
Founders of the social enterprise Crayon Impact, Rohan Sabharwal and Rachana Iyer will share how they were bullied and how it affected them

The humiliation traumatised Sabharwal who battled depression during his late teens. “It was only after I completely weaned myself from school and shifted to Mumbai that I was able to get my life back in order,” he admits.

Two decades on, Sabharwal and Rachana Iyer, 27, — both are founders of social enterprise Crayon Impact — along with entrepreneurial group Pra-Kar and mental heath programme The Red Door, hope to spread awareness about the detrimental nature of bullying with a special dialogue session titled Bully Proof.

The three-hour session will begin with the screening of the American docu-film The Bully Project (2011), followed by a diverse panel of speakers — Reshma Valliappan, Navadeep Pannala and Shovona Karmakar — sharing their personal experiences, covering different perspectives to bullying, like gender, sexuality, mental health and trauma. The evening will end with activist and poet Ramneek Singh performing two spoken word pieces on the topic.

Through the session, the duo hopes to address the issue, and reach out to victims of bullying, as well as those, who at some point have been bullies themselves. “The people who bullied me, when I was in school, have grown up to become very nice people. What they don’t realise is that, their one terrible act scarred me for life,” Sabharwal says.

Where: House of Wow, Hill Road, Bandra (West)
When: May 13, 9 PM onwards
Entry: Rs 500 (50% off for students and senior citizens)
Call: 9930246031

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