iconimg Tuesday, April 21, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 20, 2011
Are you concerned about domestic violence against women in your neighbourhood? Then go and ring their doorbell. Bell Bajao!, a campaign initiated by Breakthrough, an NGO, against domestic violence, was launched in Delhi by chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday. The campaign will run in Delhi for 15 days until March 8 and is expected to sensitise over a million people in the city on the need to take action to stop violence against women.

"We cannot function in isolation and all of us must take the responsibility to curb this menace of domestic violence against women," Dikshit said.

"An aware and sensitive neighborhood is the best watchdog to prevent domestic violence."

Bell Bajao! will reach people through video vans that will engage and educate communities on the need to prevent domestic violence, and will also spread awareness about the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.

The van, with its distinctive audio-visual screenings, will be accompanied by street theatre performances, puppet shows, opinion polls, interactive games and flyers.

"Bell Bajao! is a call to both men and women to work towards changing cultural norms and hold violators liable and bring domestic violence to a halt," said Mallika Dutt, president and CEO of Breakthrough.

"We are honoured that the van is being inaugurated by Delhi's chief minister as it is particularly important to spread Bell Bajao's message in our Capital given its high levels of violence against women," Dutt added. The campaign has already reached over 140 million people across India.

"We have sensitised people across the country, through mass media, community education and mobilisation activities working with multiple stakeholders and hundreds of civil society organisations," said Sonali Khan, India country director, Breakthrough.

"The campaign encourages communities, especially men and boys, to take action against domestic violence and implement the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act."