human rights organisation Breakthrough is using sports, dance,
vibrant skits, trivia and video to educate students to stop and
prevent public harassment of women.
The initiative called Parivartan will reach out to over 25 schools
in Mumbai in a video van and will interact with students between
It is also using India's most popular sport, cricket, to teach
boys how to be respectful towards women and, in turn, help reduce
violence against the fair sex.
The van has a variety of interactive elements like games and
quizzes where children can win prizes, an audio-visual video and a
street play as well. The programme, which kickstarted Jan 17, will
continue till Feb 13.
"The programme disseminates information using pop culture to
educate the audience and re-define the concept of masculinity as
is taught to boys," Sonali Khan, country head of Breakthrough,
"In many places, gender inequality and the abuse that stems from
it is often socially accepted," she added.
The programme is endorsed by cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and
according to Khan, a role model helps to reach out to youngsters
in a simple way.
"Through cricket and influential role models like coaches and
community mentors, Parivartan helps young athletes understand that
part of being a 'star' is stopping violent and abusive behaviour
and language towards women and girls, like eve teasing (harassment
of women)," Khan said.
"Role models make things easier as it is believed that young men
have access to peaceful, gender-equitable men in their lives and
they are more likely to embrace these characteristics," he added.