MARD: Men Against Rape & Dicrimination
An Indian celebrity movement to get men to be aware and speak up against crimes against women
Some Indian celebrities have been getting involved in raising awareness about the fate of women and children. i was fortunate to interact with the MARD initiative started by Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar.
The word MARD in Hindi mean Male, more significatly it is usually used to convey Maleness or Manhood. The actor has turned the word into an acronym for "Men Agaisnt Rape And Discrimination". The initiative aims to create an awareness for women's rights and issues and although it hasn't sompletely taken off yet it has been getting some amount of press and that is at least brining in some awareness to women's safety issues. It is trying to get men to invest in it by following a certain charter which promotes respect toward fellow humans, men or women.
They have been going the route of merchandising to show support and I was fortunate enough to have made their first batch of merchandise for them. Since then they have done some awareness building through a Indian Premiere League cricket match (kind of like an EPL for cricket) where the celebrity owners of the cricket teams pledged support and awareness was created in a crowd of 50,000+ cricket fans at the stadium not to mention the millions watching on their tv sets.
Such initiatives if well directed can use a celebrity's "appeal" and create awareness among the masses who look to emulate their idols.
While I believe this initiative needs considerable direction I give them high points for at least attempting to make a difference. Hopefully they can create a big enough impact.
The first step to attempting a solution for Women's safety issues is creating awareness and here's an organization that is trying.