After an encouraging response to the Zero Tolerance Campaign on Facebook, members of the Yuva Satta — a young citizens' group — took the initiative offline. On Friday, volunteers from the group launched a signature campaign in support of Keenan Santos and Reuben Fernandes seeking support from Mumbaiites for the cause.
The campaign that started at around 7pm went and on till late in the night was carried out at different spots in Andheri West, including Lokhandwala market, Infiniti Mall and Fun Republic. The main objective of the signature campaign is to spread the message, particularly among the youth, that sexual harassment is just not acceptable and people need to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards it. The campaign also hopes to empower women by disseminating information about their rights and the existing laws to combat the menace.
The effort also seeks to address home minister RR Patil through a signature campaign — both online and offline — to strengthen sections 354 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code, and make them non-bailable — a move that has been under consideration for a long time. The group plans to take legal recourse to achieve this and is considering filing a public interest litigation seeking a stronger law to combat the menace of sexual harassment.
Within a few hours of launching the campaign, over 1,500 people signed the petition. The organisers stated they received an overwhelming response, not only from youngsters but also from several housewives who came along with their children to support the cause.