Aahana Kumra On Starting A Conversation Around Sexual Assault
Creating conversation and bringing change
As a society, we are often conditioned to brush things like sexual harassment under the carpet. It is always a ‘hush hush’ moment because, over the years, we have targeted only the victim, not the accused. We are not allowed to share any inappropriate instances that take place in our life. As a child, I remember going through such an incident but never finding the courage to bring it to the notice of my parents because such a conversation was never encouraged in our discussions.
The only way to bring a revolutionary change is to start with creating a healthy space for our children to talk about and share their experiences. Parents need to start having these difficult conversations right from the beginning with their kids to make them aware of the difference between good and bad touch, sexual assault and harassment so that when they grow up, they are courageous enough to speak up and take a stand when something unacceptable happens.
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To prepare our girls, we also need to feed them with powerful examples of women around them. Unfortunately, history only celebrates heroes. It is high time to talk about sheroes in textbooks to inspire young girls and help them develop into powerful fierce women.
Having said that, I am so glad that the #MeToo Movement took place a few years ago and people started acknowledging this grave issue. Things have moved forward since then in terms of creating a safe work environment for everyone all around the world. Sadly, the movement lost momentum and conversations around the same dialled down. There is still a lot that needs to be done. Especially when it comes to the Film Industry. In a corporate structure, one can always complain about it to HR, but in our industry, we don’t have any such system, which makes things even harder. I wish there was an organisation or a cell that could work towards building a secure place for people working in the film industry.
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I am happy that today we are at least discussing and acknowledging Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Only small steps like these can bring about a swift change in the world, and I hope to see more of such changes.
As a female artist, I try to pitch in my voice as much as possible. I understand my role as an influencer and how my choices can have a larger impact on society. Keeping the same thing in mind, I always try to choose a project that has its heart in the right place. To me, the message of the film is the most important.
I want to be part of projects that ignite conversations, raise eyebrows, make people uncomfortable and are thought-provoking in nature to help in bringing a defining change.
Let’s stop at nothing!