Vidya Balan and her father, PR Balan show support to the campaign in a short film
Vidya Balan and her father, PR Balan show support to the campaign in a short film

In a collaborative effort between Population Foundation of India (PFI) and the group, ‘MARD’ a campaign, ‘Bas Ab BahutHo Gaya’ was launched recently. Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of PFI said, says, “#BasAbBahutHoGaya symbolises the end to tolerating violence and encourages everyone, especially the youth, to take action.

The kernel of our message in this campaign is that violence against women and girls should never be accepted. It is, therefore, designed to motivate young girls to stand up against violence and also to demonstrate and advocate to boys that violence is not a mark of a man. It has no connection to masculinity but rather with being a bully and a coward.”

In this regard, PFI launched a contest and invited entrees from the youth wherein they will have to submit short films about the topic. When asked about the reason behind urging youth to participate in this contest, Poonam said, “It is true that gender violence happens across age groups. However, we are targeting the youth with our eyes on the future they are the architects and leaders of tomorrow their thinking and actions need to be educated and informed.”

“This contest is only one of the elements of the larger campaign that’s open to college students,” she said. While explaining the details of this contest Poonam said, “The contest ends on August 16and the first three winners will receive prize of Rs 3 lakhs, Rs 2 lakhs and Rs 1 lakh respectively. There will be a special prize for the viewer’s choice award. Winners will be awarded on October 2 given the importance of the day in the fight against violence.”

“I would also like to inform you that this contest is part of a series of activities to generate debate and promote positive change in cultural and social norms by putting women and girls at the centre. Celebrities have joined this campaign with messages to motivate young girls to stand up against violence, and show boys that masculinity is not connected with violence,” she said.

“Apart from the contest, PFI and MARD will be releasing a series of films, hold panel discussions across cities on issues around gender bias and voilence. The campaign will culminate in a concert in Mumbai towards the end of 2017,” she added. Poonam urged the youth of the nation to participate in this campaign and said, “This is the time to show how you can change the world, smash patriarchy and end violence. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and creativity make a film.”