Showbiz industry joins hands against gender crime

April 9th, 2008 - 9:29 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) Several celebrities of the showbiz industry in Mumbai have come together to raise their voice against gender crimes, and are starting a campaign called ‘Fight Back’. Launched by Zubin Driver, network creative director for television channel CNBC TV 18, the campaign is against molestation of women and aims to “do something to create awareness about it”, a press statement said here Wednesday.

Asked about the impetus to launch the movement, Driver said: “Years ago, when I was acting in a play in college, I found that each one of the women had been molested.”

But the immediate trigger was the incident on New Year’s eve, when a group of people molested two women outside the JW Marriot Hotel in Mumbai. It sparked a nationwide outrage.

Ranvijay, host of MTV’s reality show “Roadies”, has also joined the cause.

Brought up in an environment where stress was laid on respecting women, for Ranvijay the campaign holds special meaning. He has pledged to involve his fellow-bikers in the show to raise the issue in every public forum.

Noted lawyer and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad has also decided to lend her voice to “Fight Back”.

Driver has created a website that will serve as a platform to help people across India fight the menace of gender violence. It is a single-window interface for everyone - victims, journalists and researchers.

Jeroo Mulla, head of the social communications media department at Mumbai’s Sophia Polytechnic, says it is important to inculcate the need to ‘fight back’ among all women.

“The support of people from various segments of society is proof that people are serious about addressing the issue if provided the right platform,” Driver said.

“Ultimately, it is not the celebrities or me who matter, it is the people of this country. ‘Fight Back’ is an effort to reach out to ‘young’ India, the driving force behind any movement,” he added.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, in 35 cities with a population of more than one million, New Delhi topped the list with 4,134 cases, accounting for 18.9 percent of the total crimes against women in 2006, followed by Hyderabad with 1,755 cases.

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