Changing Tracks for Safety #GaanaRewrite

Akshara Centre | India 2min 09 | 2017

India is a country obsessed with Bollywood, its movie stars and its songs. Within hours of a song’s release, millions of fans are found singing the catchy numbers. But often, the lyrics of these popular chartbusters make rampant use of derogatory words and themes against women. And soon these songs find their way into every nook and corner of the nation, becoming weapons for street harassment and objectification of women. We used one of our social media campaigns to address and tackle this issue.

One of our city-wide surveys with 5031 women and men showed that 46% women felt unsafe in public buses, 41% in public spaces and 17% in trains [source: http://www.aksharacentre.org/#press%5D. One of the solutions to tackle this problem of safety on public transport was to ensure that bus and train conductors were sensitized and were trained to tackle cases of sexual harassment. To ensure the same, we trained more than 2000 train and bus conductors in Mumbai. With the help of volunteers, we also conducted safety audits of various locations in Mumbai to find out if the areas were safe by taking lighting, accessibility, etc as parameters.

The current video submission is a music video of rewritten lyrics of popular Bollywood songs that become tools for harassment on public transport and in public places.

AKSHARA CENTRE

Non profit based in Mumbai working for the rights, education and livelihood of young women and for a safe city and gender inclusive city. Every year we work with over 1000 young women and men from underprivileged and provide them educational scholarships, capacity development trainings for livelihood skills and feminist leadership to build an equal and violence free society. Our advocacy program campaigns for a Safe City wherein we liaison with authorities and organisations for better legislation and policies to make the city more gender inclusive and safe for women.

[www.aksharacentre.org ]

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