The New Year has seen a spate of molestation cases, covered and debated on extensively in the media. Women all over India are a worried lot given the sharp rise in such cases. Given the sensitivity and immediacy of the issue, Network18’s Zubin Driver has launched a campaign against molestation, aptly called ‘Fight back’. The campaign was launched recently and will continue till April 2008.
In a bid to catch them young, the ‘Fight back’ campaign aims to rope in youngsters from nearly 100 colleges all over India. These youngsters would be encouraged to stage street plays and involve neighbourhoods to generally sensitise people about the scourge of molestation and similar crimes against women.
Commenting on the campaign, Driver said, “The reason for launching this initiative was to create a new kind of activity, which breaks through a cycle of activity. There was a need for a tool that would break this cycle and engineer some systemic changes through public discourses on the issue.”
He further said that the campaign would have several stages. The first is a website www.fight-back.net, which was launched recently. This would be followed by a nationwide contest that would invite youngsters to create plays or short films on the problem and possible solutions. Some of the best work would be showcased on Driver’s show ‘Through the Looking Glass’.
The campaign also aims to be a resource tool that could be used by anyone anytime. It will make available important information like the phone numbers of emergency services, top lawyers, police stations, etc; the dos and don’ts for women while filing an FIR; what to do in case of an emergency, etc.
Driver said, “This campaign is primarily targeted at the youth as well as groups like NGOs, police personnel and social activists. Experts in the field will share case studies.” To start with, the posters are being displayed at college campuses, and hoardings with thought-provoking statistics are being put up across the city.
According to Driver, technology was the best networking tool. “We will be tapping all youth-related portals like Facebook, and other blogs to create awareness. We already have 200 members on Facebook. The youth are not jaded with the bureaucracy,” he said.
“March 8 is International Women’s Day and we are going to celebrate it as ‘Fight Back Day’. We will tell students to come up with plays to build awareness and stage some plays in various localities and amid their friends. We will also organise self-defense camps and workshops. We have already put up posters in various colleges and we will be coming up with TVC and print ads in various magazines and newspapers by the first week of March,” added Driver.
“We are asking people to come up with their own ideas. Our job is to incubate the idea. We want to do an all-India campaign and are hoping to make it a powerful movement,” he asserted.