Speak out, say Thane mall, police over women's safety

Updated: 29 February, 2020 07:52 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Short film stresses message of being duty bound to report sexual violence against women in run-up to Women's Day

A scene in a bus - a still from the film
A scene in a bus - a still from the film

The Thane police, along with Viviana Mall, are coming together in a major push for women's safety in the run-up to Women's Day on March 8. The initiative was announced on Friday evening and will be rolled out on March 7 along with the Thane police. Beginning Saturday, a powerful short film called #MeraFarzHai will be played at the main movie cinema screens in Thane, Dombivli and Kalyan. Police involvement has helped in ensuring accessibility to cinema screens. There are also several visits planned across schools, colleges and workplaces, sensitising men and women to sexual violence targetted at women, especially.

The film features three women being harassed in different spaces — one commuting in a bus being harassed by a male passenger. A young man, a college student, speaks up and stops the harassment.

The other scenario shows harassment at the corporate workplace where an older, senior male is making overtures at a young woman working at her desktop. Here, the peon upbraids the 'boss' saying sternly 'sir'.

In the third instance, a woman is being targeted at a bar by a patron and another young woman steps in. All three underline intervention with the punch line of the campaign: mera farz hai. The film beams the number 103 police helpline for women, telling those who witness sexual harassment to speak up and stop it. If they cannot or do not want to, they can call 103.

Saugat Bhattacharya, filmmaker, said, "The three persons who intervene to stop the harassment are a college guy, a hip hop, rock, gully boy kind of character. The other one is a peon. Here the power balance is skewed. In real life, one will rarely see a peon standing up to the boss in a corporate office. I want to reiterate that it is the duty of the most ordinary person to speak out," Bhattacharya concluded.

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First Published: 29 February, 2020 07:33 IST

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