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Beta padhao, beti bachao

Instead of focussing on teaching girls to be safe, it is time we turned our attention to training boys on how to treat women
mother teaching son

Sexual abuse is increasing worldwide

The UN research says 1 in 3 women faces sexual harassment at least once in her lifetime. The numbers are only increasing across the globe and the rapes are becoming more gruesome and horrific. The age of being objectified, of being exploited for sexual power pleasures is only going down. As of June 2018, the number of rapes reported has gone up to 3 an hour and the age of the victims has gone down to 3-month-old babies.

How much more violence does a girl need to experience for us to realise that we are failing our mothers, our sisters, our wives, our daughters, our girlfriends every moment?

The society needs to wake up from this languid stupor, from our own dreadful years of Nirbhaya and Asifa. The plague of such predators has to be eradicated. Our children and our women have the right to a safe, fearless life.

The question that troubles me is, “Will we constantly live with this chronic wound of fear and pain?”

So when we at Safecity were appointed by the UN Habitat to host the Urban Thinkers Campus in Mumbai on the theme of resilient, inclusive, women friendly cities, I voiced my feelings. We had to create something that would reflect the Asifa and Nirbhaya in our lives. It had to open conversations and encourage more sustainable solutions than headlines that disappear into oblivion after a couple of months.

So we changed the narrative from “Save the girl child” to “Save the boy child”. “Beti Padhao – Beti Bachao” became “Beta Padhao – Beti Bachao”.

We strongly believe that when we teach our children to respect equality, consent and boundaries, to value other lives as our own, we will be building a future that will be devoid of violence against women and girls. If we bring up our boys with such values, our girls will not need saving.

Please do watch and share and be the change that we want to see.

Report any incidence of sexual harassment on www.safecity.in, or DM at infor@safecity.in
Download the Safecity app, now available on Android and iOS.

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