Sunil Pathare is Chairman & Managing Director at VIP Clothing Ltd and has directed this Film MEERA, which talks about a serious topic – rape. The film has a strong message about the subject that has not been touched upon openly. In conversation with Sunil Pathare as he spills the beans on his debut film MEERA and more.
Excerpts from the interview
As your debut directorial, you have chosen a subject which talks about women safety, rape & revenge. What made you to choose this subject?
Due to the nature of my profession on the corporate & entertainment front, I used to interact with a lot of women. I was under the impression that Mumbai is comparatively safe for working & single women. But the reality was far from this. Many of them used to tell me how they used to carry pepper spray and other objects for their safety. They used to tell me tales of regular harassment and abuse. This made me think what I can as a responsible citizen do to tackle this problem as I had a medium to make people aware of this problem. It was a subject very close to my heart, I was disturbed about women on a daily basis and looking at the circumstances, I felt that this is not going to slow down unless some bold measures were taken.
Do you think somewhere changing the mind-set of the people can bring a change?
Absolutely. The biggest change will come only when the mind set of people change. Once we start respecting women and not look at them as an object of lust, the change will come in the society.
What do you think the Govt. should do about women safety?
The government will have to tackle it on multiple levels. Apart from educating the people about respecting the women, they will also have to set examples with very stringent punishment to the offenders which will act as a deterrent to others. They will have to educate the women on self-protection, increase the monitoring systems amongst others.
What steps can be taken to stop this?
I feel that the Government should have think tank from different walks of society who can advise on the measures to ensure women safety which should include the Police Dept, Law Enforcement agency, NGOs, people from the social organisations including prominent women participation. And it should not be only for urban cities but rural areas as well.
Any upcoming projects you would like to speak about?
There are a few in the pipeline, which I would not like to discuss currently. But I will continue to focus on the social evils. Another such evil, which is close to my heart, is the drug menace, which is destroying the social fabric of the society as a lot of youth and school kids are falling prey to this vice.