Filmmaker Karan Johar has teamed up with actress Mithila Palkar for a short film which puts the spotlight on how women feel unsafe in public spaces in India, and says it is high time people started taking the responsibility for the safety of women seriously.
"The girls of our country are extremely talented and are recognised for it across all professional fields. But there is one more field that they are unfortunately 'talented' in – and that is managing their own safety. While we salute them for this, we must acknowledge that safety isn't a talent, it's a social responsibility. And it's high time that we all take this responsibility for the safety of women," Karan said.
The short film titled "Girl's Got Talent" is presented by Save the Children and created by Yuvaa as part of their #LightUpHerLife campaign. Karan has lent his voice and makes an appearance along with Mithila, who plays the lead, in the film. It is about how one of the 'talents' that girls need to have in India is the ability to navigate unlit, dark and unsafe streets.
"I am proud to be a part of the brilliant #LightUpHerLife campaign by Save the Children and Yuvaa to not only raise awareness about this issue but also to identify areas that can be made secure for our girls," added Karan, who has a daughter and a son.
Through the film, Karan has urged people across India to join the movement to take steps to change the landscape of the cities and neighbourhoods by identifying unlit places and sharing them on social media using the hashtag #LightUpHerLife. He also calls upon people to move away from being bystanders and become changemakers to ensure that women feel safe.
Talking about the movie, Mithila said: "As a woman, shooting for this film was an extremely surreal and personal experience. I felt the palpable fear women universally feel walking down an unlit street or taking public transport. I'd really like to request everyone to join this amazing initiative by Save the Children and Yuvaa to #LightUpHerLife and urge the government to make public spaces safer for women so we can reclaim our right to safety and freedom."