Violence and discrimination against women has become the national issue during these recent years. The plight of women and unwanted advances of men around them has created an unsafe environment in urban India over the years. Every second, a woman goes through incidents that may cause physical or emotinal trauma. Breakthrough is a human-rights organisation seeking to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. It uses the power of arts, media, pop culture, and community mobilization to inspire people to take bold action to build a world in which all people live with dignity, equality, and justice. It aims to create groundbreaking multimedia campaigns that bring human rights issues into the mainstream and make them relevant and urgent to individuals and communities worldwide. These, along with, it goes for in-depth training’s of young people, government officials, and community groups sparking change in the world around them.
In order to advocate for safe and harassment-free journey of young girls between their schools and homes, Breakthrough has strategically launched a campaign called MakeitSafer. The campaign solicits public participation to support its focused drive of creating a safer ecosystem for school going girls in 16 districts of six highly affected states. The campaign also appeals people to tweet their support to the cause with “Makeitsafer” and contribute to Breakthrough for supporting the on-ground action for the program.
Breakthrough has been working for last 15 years to prevent violence against women and girls in India and has been working to prevent sexual harassment for last 4 years. According to Breakthrough’s survey, it is revealed that young girls going to school in India are the most vulnerable to sexual harassment, especially during their commute to schools or upon return.
Referring to the findings of the survey, Ms Sonali Khan, Country Director & Vice-President at Breakthrough said, “Approximately 50% school girls face sexual harassment either during their travel to school or upon their return. She further adds “Sexual harassment has severe ramifications on a girl’s life that reflect in communities in the forms of school dropouts, early marriage and also early motherhood. Our MakeitSafer campaign intends to address this problem at large to advocate the safety of girls with the support of local, regional and national stakeholders.”
The MakeitSafer campaign is a part of Breakthrough’s larger campaign against sexual harassment that aims at strengthening the resources required for the on-ground action and community mobilization. The campaign prioritizes safety of young girls and aims to build upon sensitization of masses while addressing the challenge of lack of safeguards and sanctions in the communities. It has already kicked off an interesting combination of activities to curb the rising tide of problems in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana that include video van runs in the highly affected districts of these states, trainings of youth, law enforcement agencies, auto drivers and students in schools. Via the video vans, the organisation has been able to reach out to more than 150,000 people including 24,000 students and sensitize the masses about the need for safety of girl children in public spaces.
In last one year, Breakthrough has launched popular campaigns like “Askingforit” and “Share your Story with your Son” to impede the growing incidences of sexual harassment.
Kalki Koechlin also tweets her support for #MakeitSafer Campaign. The celebrity who is known for her brave and generous philanthropic interests expressed her support for Breakthrough’s recent digital campaign. In an extremely encouraging tweet to Breakthrough, Kalki said “I’m joining #breakthrough to fight sexualharasharassment, you can too! Donate at inbreakthrough.tv/igirl/ and Makeitsafer for school girls.”