Two non-profit organisations, one working with women and the other with children, have now teamed up for the common cause of working against hate, violence and terror.
On Saturday afternoon, city-based World Kids Foundation and the international organisation Women Without Borders jointly organised a public screening of Harun-Arun, a 2009 children’s film by Vinod Ganatra about a Hindu mother in a Kutch village who overcomes her prejudices to accept and love a Muslim boy from across the border.
Held at the National Centre for Performing Arts, Nariman Point, and attended by more than 40 children from various non-profit organisations, the screening was followed by a discussion on ‘Mothers for Change’.
“Women, particularly mothers, have the power to influence the next generation because they raise children,” said Elaine Hargrove, a programme manager at Women Without Borders which launched, in April, the Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) campaign to empower women survivors of terror around the world. “Through women, violence can be curbed with pro-active rather than re-active methods.”
The World Kids Foundation, with whom SAVE has now collaborated, wants to take this forward from mothers to children.
“Children can participate in bringing about change too, by taking a stand against violence and engaging with their parents to tackle prejudices,” said Zarina Poonawalla, associate director of the Foundation which screens short films from around the world in private and municipal schools in Mumbai to promote value-education.
While the Foundation aims to show more SAVE films to tackle these issues, the children who saw Harun-Arun already seem to have grasped the message.
“It was very touching to see how the mother changes her attitude towards the Muslim boy. I am glad I have always lived in unity with children from other faiths,” said Sushmita Agarwal, a class 10 student of Santacruz Municipal School.