Tuesday March 19, 2019

Actress Radhika Apte Speaks Upon Sexual Harassment at Workplaces

Enthusiastic about the association with Daniel Wellington, Radhika said: "Yes, I adore their watches and their new bracelet cuffs. The pieces are easy to wear and very versatile with timeless designs. They can be worn throughout the years on for any occasion."

0
//
Radhika Apte
Acting is like investigative work: Radhika Apte. (IANS)

With #MeToo movement, many women are coming out in the open to talk about the sexual harassment they have faced by people in power across different fields, including Bollywood. Actress Radhika Apte is “loving” it and she feels everyone should come together to create safe workplaces where any kind of abuse is neither exercised nor tolerated.

“There are a lot of people in the industry who are trying to come together and find a way of forming a system which is going to be more apt to deal with the abuse or misuse of power within the industry,” Radhika told IANS in an e-mail from Mumbai when asked about her take on #MeToo.

“I think it is very good that people are coming out and speaking about such things. It is extremely essential and I completely support the movement. I hope that we can all constructively come together and formulate a structure where everyone can feel safe sooner rather than later.

“I genuinely love that this movement is coming here,” added the actress, who is the face of new campaign of Daniel Wellington watches in India.

Radhika-Apte
Any kind of abuse must not be exercised or tolerated: Radhika Apte. (IANS)

The #MeToo movement in India started after actress and former beauty queen Tanushree Dutta in September recalled an unpleasant episode with veteran actor Nana Patekar from the sets of “Horn ‘OK’ Pleassss” in 2008.

After that, a slew of controversies surrounding Vikas Bahl, Sajid Khan, Anu Malik, Anirban Blah, Alok Nath, Chetan Bhagat, Gursimran Khamba and Kailash Kher have emerged.

Radhika, who not only broke the stereotypical image of the Bollywood heroine with her roles in films like “”Phobia”, “Badlapur” and “Manjhi – The Mountain Man”, but is also vocal about her strong opinions on social issues. She says Bollywood should stand up and raise voice on such issues.

Radhika said: “I think it’s high time, not only in Bollywood, but in all industries that we stand up and raise awareness and speak about these issues.

“I personally feel that any kind of abuse should not be exercised or tolerated and there should be systems in place that will allow people to speak about it fearlessly. There is nothing worse than having that lack of a safe foundation that results in a person being fearful to speak up and living life suppressing what happened because they fear some consequence to talking about it. Nothing can be worse than that.”

Daniel Wellington, the Swedish watch brand, celebrated the onset of the festive season in Mumbai with an exclusive Diwali celebration. Radhika, along with Sander Van Der Stroom, General Manager, Daniel Wellington India, graced the occasion.

Enthusiastic about the association with Daniel Wellington, Radhika said: “Yes, I adore their watches and their new bracelet cuffs. The pieces are easy to wear and very versatile with timeless designs. They can be worn throughout the years on for any occasion.”

Radhika Apte
Radhika Apte.

When one talks about time, how important is punctuality for her?

She said: “Professionalism and punctuality are extremely important, especially in the career path I’ve chosen. Being on sets, film schedules can be very stringent and tight. They are sometimes at odd hours in various locations. Being there when you’re called, just ensures that the day starts smoothly.”

Has her time in Bollywood, especially the starting years, been easy?

“I had to struggle a lot to get to where I am today and it is appreciated more because people are aware of my work much more so there’s more talk about it. But at the same time I don’t think the struggle has ended because in any freelance industry there is a constant struggle with constant rejections, constantly trying to maintain a level of work as well as challenge yourself and bring something different to every project you do,” she said.

Also Read- Nawazuddin Siddiqui Considers His Next Movie ‘Special Gift’ For Children

With the success of “Andhadhun”, would she says she has arrived now?

“I honestly never think that I have ever ‘arrived’. It’s all a process to me. Today I am lucky enough to be getting a lot of work that I’m passionate about, but one can never know what the future has in store,” she said. (Bollywood Country)

Next Story

“We Can Make Difference By Rendering Services To The Women And Children” All-female Legal Group Fights In Sierra Leone

Most of the time the children, the women, are not aware of the signs and symptoms. They’re not aware of anything until it had fully happened, so the conversation has to start from the bottom up.”

0
Sierra Leone
Fatmata Sorie, president of Legal Access through Women Yearning for Equality Rights and Social Justice (LAWYERS), is pictured in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Feb. 7, 2019. Pixabay

In Sierra Leone, cases involving the abuse of women have rarely been prosecuted. Spousal abusers, child abusers and even rapists have, too often, walked free.

A group of lawyers and judges — all of them female — has decided to take action to change that.

“We’ve seen a lot of issues affecting our women and girls in our society, and we believe that, with the expertise that we have, we can make a difference by rendering services to the women and children who need it most,” said Fatmata Sorie, an attorney and president of the group Legal Access through Women Yearning for Equality Rights and Social justice (LAWYERS).

The group was founded 22 years ago and offers pro bono legal work to those in need. One of the founding members was Patricia Kabbah, a former first lady of Sierra Leone and a lawyer herself.

LAWYERS has about 50 members, and Sorie says they discourage out-of-court settlements in rape cases, preferring to prosecute attackers to the full extent of the law. They also prosecute accessories to the crime. The group conducts outreach to families, encouraging people to break their silence about sexual violence.

FILE - A five-year-old girl poses with her doll as she sits in her wheelchair in the courtyard of the Aberdeen Women's Center, one year after a sexual assault that her family says left her paralyzed, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Feb. 7, 2019.
A five-year-old girl poses with her doll as she sits in her wheelchair in the courtyard of the Aberdeen Women’s Center, one year after a sexual assault that her family says left her paralyzed, in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Feb. 7, 2019. VOA

“We also start within our homes because, in most homes, we don’t sit down as parents, as families, to discuss issues,” she said. “So most of the time the children, the women, are not aware of the signs and symptoms. They’re not aware of anything until it had fully happened, so the conversation has to start from the bottom up.”

In an unprecedented move, President Julius Maada Bio in February declared rape and sexual violence a national emergency. The country had more than 8,500 reported cases of sexual and gender-based violence last year, but observers believe thousands of additional cases go unreported.

According to the Rainbo Initiative, a Sierra Leonean organization that helps survivors of gender-based violence, 93 percent of victims treated are younger than 17 years of age, and 24 percent are younger than 11.

rape
The president also created a special police division to handle rape cases. But Sorie believes there is more work to be done. Pixabay

The presidential declaration is already having an effect.

“We believe the most prominent impact so far is that we will have more numbers coming out because people feel more comfortable coming up to report these cases,” Sorie said. “And we also have a situation where the regulations are passed based on the declaration that was made by the president. The process for prosecuting sexual penetration and rape cases would be much shorter based on the instruction and the directives.”

 

Also Read:National Award Winning Filmmaker Rima Das Roots for More Female Directors

The president also created a special police division to handle rape cases. But Sorie believes there is more work to be done. She would like to see the maximum penalty for rape increased to life in prison from the current limit of 15 years and wants stronger witness-protection programs. She also said the nation needs additional medical facilities to treat rape victims and forensics labs to test DNA samples.

“We need to keep the fight going and to curb this menace within our society,” she said. (VOA)