“Bas Ab Bahut Ho Gaya”, Says Poonam Muttreja
Bas Ab Bahut Ho Gaya, a campaign against gender-based violence was launched on 30th May by Farhan Akhtar via Facebook Live. This is one of the most awaited campaigns of the world. Celebrities like Vidya Balan and Sania Mirza have come in support of this campaign and launched awareness-generating videos along with their fathers which gathered millions of views respectively.
Bas Ab Bahut Ho Gaya is a collaborative effort of Population Foundation Of India (PFI), noted director Feroz Abbas Khan and Farhan Akhtar’s MARD.
Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of Population Foundation Of India says, “#BasAbBahutHoGaya symbolises the end to tolerating violence and encourages everyone, especially the youth, to take action. The kernel of our message in this campaign is that violence against women and girls should never be accepted. It is, therefore, designed to motivate young girls to stand up against violence and also to demonstrate and advocate to boys that violence is not a mark of a man. It has no connection to masculinity but rather with being a bully and a coward. As the title indicates, #BasAbBahutHoGaya, calls for zero tolerance to violence against women and girls. National celebrities have joined the Population Foundation of India in this campaign to relay messages and motivate the young to actively join hands to end this shameless abuse of human rights. PFI firmly believes that GBV can be effectively tackled by changing entrenched patriarchal social norms that perpetuate violence. If the growing incidence of crimes against women is to be checked, one of the first steps we need to take is to bring about a change in the attitude and perception of our youth. India has 356 million youth who are vulnerable – either as perpetrators or as survivors.”
When asked about the reason behind urging youth to participate in this contest, Poonam said, “It is true that gender violence happens across age groups. However, we are targeting the youth with our eyes on the future – they are the architects and leaders of tomorrow – their thinking and actions need to be educated and informed. This contest is only one of the elements of the larger campaign that’s open to college students. I believe, this gives them the opportunity to showcase their thoughts and ideas on tackling GBV and also to demonstrate how it matters to them. Another reason why we are particularly targeting the young is because the regressive social norms and attitudes that sanctify VAWG are still very much there – they may well be growing up witnessing various forms of violence within their communities, families and homes. Opening up the issue is one way of addressing it.”
While explaining the details of this contest Poonam said, “The contest ends on August 16, 2017 and the first three winners will receive prize of Rs 3 lakhs, Rs 2 lakhs and Rs 1 lakh respectively. There will be a special prize for the viewer’s choice award. Winners will be awarded on 2nd October given the importance of the day in the fight against violence. I would also like to inform you that this contest is part of a series of activities to generate debate and promote positive change in cultural and social norms by putting women and girls at the centre. Celebrities have joined this campaign with messages to motivate young girls to stand up against violence, and show boys that masculinity is not connected with violence. Apart from the contest, PFI and MARD will be releasing a series of films, hold panel discussions across cities on issues around gender bias and voilence. The campaign will culminate in a concert in Mumbai towards the end of 2017.”
At the end Poonam urged the youth of the nation to participate in this campaign and said, “This is the time to show how you can change the world, smash patriarchy and end violence. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and creativity – make a film.”