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Men urged to stand up for women

health-and-fitness Updated: May 03, 2010 14:39 IST
Sharin Bhatti
Sharin Bhatti
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Human Rights organisation Breakthrough that ran the hugely successful Bell Bajao campaign two years ago, raising a voice against domestic violence, is back with its second tryst to facilitate woman empowerment.

This time around, Breakthrough is encouraging men to take part in the Bell Bajao campaign. It will carry out a video van tour, starting this week, mapped across different parts of the city and screen films and use audio-visual aids to disseminate information about domestic violence and ways to prevent it. Created pro-bono by Ogilvy & Mather, Bell Bajao urges men and young boys to ring the bell on domestic violence and intervene in situations of abuse.

In this unique exercise, Bell Bajao will have celebrities like theatre person Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, lyricist Javed Akhtar, composer Shantanu Moitra, singer Jagjit Singh, director Anurag Kashyap, actress-host Mini Mathur, actor Boman Irani and the Sheriff of Mumbai, Indu Shahani, endorsing the campaign.

Mallika Dutt, executive director, Breakthrough explains, “We reached over 2.5 million with the video van the last time. This time, we are hoping for bigger numbers.”

The idea of the Bell Bajao campaign came from music director Shantanu Moitra who literally rang the bell. One of the founder members of Breakthrough, Moitra recalls an incident when he rose to bell the cat. “When I first came to Mumbai, I was staying with a roommate and we’d constantly disturbed by the sound of crying from a neighbouring flats at night and sometimes even in the day. One day, my roommate rang the bell and ran away. And the crying instantly stopped. When there is a break in a moment of violence, it instantly stops,” asserts Moitra who started Breakthrough with friends Prasoon Joshi and Shubha Mudgal and came out with an album titled Mann Ke Manjire on woman empowerment.