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Actor Nakuul Mehta urges men to be allies to women

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By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANSlife) Popular television actor Nakuul Mehta has pledged his support to a campaign that encourages men not to be “silent spectators to violations of women safety and be an ally in this demand for safety”.

Mehta recently featured in a video promoting the importance of a woman’s consent, and was also seen in a Instagram Live session, offering his support to #AllyUpForHer, a campaign jointly run by child rights NGO Save the Children and Yuvaa on Change.org.

“Standing up for respect and safety of women is something that must come naturally to any man. For years, we have been speaking about treating women as equals, but unfortunately the balance has been tilted for far too long and the struggle to stand up for fundamental rights such as safety has been a single-handed battle fought only by women. It is time that we as men are at the forefront of this conversation and shoulder this responsibility to ensure that women don’t feel insecure in the presence or absence of a man. As men, we need to give a fillip to this movement and lead by example.”

According to Nikhil Taneja, Co-Founder and CEO of Yuvaa, allyship comes out of compassion and this allyship is about listening to and understanding women. “If women feel consent is a concept that is poorly understood by men, then it is our responsibility to ensure that behaviour change happens within us.”

“When we speak about safe spaces, it cannot be made safe if we don’t talk about the role of everyone. That’s why men need to see that their participation and allyship is extremely important. It is time, men must stop being mute spectators when women are being abused and assaulted – be it online or offline as this only slows down our fight for justice. It is a reality that our behaviours are ultimately influenced by the popular culture and content we consume. And when we speak of men’s allyship, the role of influencers and public figure plays a huge role in modeling public behavior and action,” adds Pragya Vats, Head of Campaigns, Save the Children.

The petition also saw support from Badrinath Singh, Nirbhaya’s father, earlier who said a permanent change will only come when the collective mindset changes. “Men must stop being mute spectators while women face abuse online and on the ground,” says the campaign.

Recently, on National Day of the Girl on January 24, the partner organisations, in collaboration with a range of other cohorts who joined in this initiative, released a video ‘Tum Akeli Nahi’ featuring male content creators in a spoken word video.

The petition urges popular OTT (over-the-top) platforms like to create content that promotes and encourages ally ship and bystander intervention. It aims to catalyse change in mindset and mass media on representation of men and boys, and strives to engage men to partake in voice and action as equal stakeholders. The petition has garnered about 90,000 signatures so far.

#AllyUpForHer is urging your support in ensuring no girl anywhere must live in fear or pay with her life, said the organisations.

(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at siddhi.j@ians.in)

–IANS

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