4 Mumbai girls make a movie on sexual harassment in ‘Dharavi’, portray ground reality during lockdown

There has been a decline in crime by about 50% in the city ever since the nationwide lockdown began. It is being told that India has seen a steady decrease in crime since the lockdown was imposed. This all happened due to the restrictions on movement of people during the shutdown.

But have crime percentages decreased significantly? Here, the film made by four girls living in Dharavi against sexual harassment is in the news.

The 16-year-old girl from Dharavi decided to shoot the film at home due to lockdown. The shooting of the film was successfully done. The film shows the pain of sexual harassment with the help of organizations like Red Balloon and Sneha.

The name of the film is “roke nahi sath de!”. According to girls, people may have their opinion that crime against women has decreased by 50% during the Coronavirus pandemic, but the truth is entirely different. The brief movie on sexual harassment in Dharavi is prone to be launched on social media this week.

Talking with NDTV, the girls said, “Our friends or neighbors have experienced sexual harassment, they have been sexually harassed. They have also worked with us in this film.”

Dharavi resident Sneha Jaiswar has acquired a number of queries from her mates about “when her movie will be released”.

“When we were asked to select a topic, it did not take us long to decide on sexual harassment. The girls in the area have to face everything from catcalls to obscene messages. We are always told to ignore such things so we made the movie around the #iwontignore campaign,” the 16-year-old mentioned.

They have been educated on Zoom calls by Red Balloon’s artistic mentor Huzefa Roowala. “We didn’t know things like panning the camera or using particular angles to shoot. Some of our parents were also cast in the film. It took us two weeks,” Jaiswar mentioned. “Now, even if I have to take photographs of our notes, I use some of the techniques we were taught during the workshop,” she added.

The director of the Sneha organization says, “We will make sure the maximum number of families watch this film. No one should think that these are only four daughters of Dharavi. This story is a reflection of the whole society. 

Senior advocate Abha Singh says that domestic violence cases have increased against women over the years. Women are being harassed in their homes, but these cases are not reported immediately to the police.

There could be several reasons for not reaching out to the police. Either the accused is in front of the victim or the victim is scared. Police may be busy in their duty, due to which cops are not looking into the matter.

I received calls from many clients that they were not in a condition to go to the police station as they did not have any transport to reach the Police station in lockdown. Jaiswar said,  “I am hopeful that the short film will make people think about their attitude to harassment faced by women and ensure that they are not asked to ignore it anymore.”

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.