ICRW’s Parivartan program begins an interactive, mobile campaign to spread messages about non-violence and gender equality to youth in Mumbai.
|Mumbai students show off a comic book they received after participating in Parivartan’s mobile van campaign.|
MUMBAI, India – The International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW) Parivartan program – which works with young cricket players in India to reduce violence against women – this month launched a mobile, interactive campaign to further promote the core principles of Parivartan.
Led by ICRW partner organization Breakthrough, and done in collaboration with the U.S.-based Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund, the campaign uses sports, dance, skits, trivia and video to educate youth how to stop and prevent “eve teasing” of women and girls. Eve teasing refers to when men and boys sexually harass women and girls in public places – either with words or inappropriate touching. The main messages of the campaign are that eve teasing is wrong, it must stop and that respecting women and girls “is the mark of a true star.”
The new initiative runs through Feb. 13, and features a van that travels to several neighborhoods and schools throughout Mumbai to hold 30 to 45 minute shows. Specifically, the campaign features a short street play on the ill effects of eve teasing, a cricket trivia quiz, interactive games with prizes and discussions. Participants also view a video about the Parivartan program.
|An emcee talks to students about why it’s wrong to harass girls.|
“A mobile van is a fun and very powerful way to convey Parivartan’s messages to a wider audience within our target population,” said ICRW’s Madhumita Das, a senior technical specialist who manages Parivartan. “The campaign also gives us an opportunity to showcase the coaches and athletes who have been a part of the initiative since the beginning.”
So far, about 3,000 boys and girls as well as principals and teachers in 15 schools have participated in the van’s interactive sessions, Das said.
ICRW and its partners conceptualized Parivartan in 2008 and launched the intervention portion of the program last year. The effort uses cricket, India’s most popular sport, to teach boys to respect women and girls and help reduce abusive relationships. Modeled in part after the Futures Without Violence’s “Coaching Boys into Men” program, Parivartan works with cricket coaches and community mentors to push messages against violence and for gender equality. The program is being implemented in 25 schools by the Mumbai School Sports Association and in community-based cricket programs by Apnalaya, an organization in Mumbai’s Shivaji Nagar community.
ICRW researchers are currently analyzing data gathered halfway through Parivartan to assess the program’s effectiveness. An evaluation of the campaign will begin in May, Das said.
“We have joined hands with Parivartan for a good cause,” said Iqbal Thakur, a Parivartan coach from Anjuman I- Islam English High school in south Mumbai, who attended the campaign launch. “Eve teasing happens, but if children are exposed to the correct messages at an early age, they are more likely to grow up into dignified, responsible citizens, who not only stay away from such behavior, but also become role models who raise their voice against injustice.”
Chandni Malik is the communications manager in ICRW’s Asia Regional Office.