afaqs!

Big FM claps for eve-teasers with 'De Taali'

By Chhavi Tyagi , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 13, 2009
The radio station launches a campaign, Chedna Mana Hai...De Taali, against eve-teasing in the Capital

In Delhi, the capital of India and on its way to becoming the capital of crime against women as well, the question of how to tackle eve-teasing is in every woman's mind when she thinks of venturing out. Now, a new campaign launched by Big FM on Women's Day might just put the brakes on the fast-piling crime statistics of the city.

The campaign, called Chedna Mana Hai…De Taali, is Big FM's initiative to empower women to fight back and publicly embarrass eve-teasers. Ashwin Padmanabhan, station director, Big 92.7 FM, Delhi, says, "There has been a sudden spate in such incidents in Delhi and women are getting harassed in broad daylight, that too in public places. The city, it seems, is getting not just heartless, but also immune to the situation. Considering all this, we thought of creating a movement through this campaign."

& #BANNER1 & #A product of in-house effort, the campaign will see the station's jockeys visiting different sensitive locations across Delhi. On catching the eve-teasers in the act, the RJs will applaud them loudly, in an effort to put them to shame.

The RJs will also talk to the eve-teasers, asking them what makes them misbehave with women. While RJ Parikshit and RJ Rami, hosts of the breakfast show, are taking the initiative on-ground as of now; two female RJs, Jiah and Neeti, will tour the unsafe lanes of Delhi from March 16-21, from 9 PM to 11 PM. They will ride in a special auto rickshaw through the city, which will be driven by the only woman auto driver in the city, Sunita Choudhury.

These RJs will connect the on-ground part of the campaign to the station through an outside broadcasting link and amplify the campaign. The on-ground initiative will run throughout the campaign period, making it the "flavour of the station" for the time being. Some of the places covered by the station are Connaught Place, Saket and Pitampura, while 20 eve-teasers have already been caught red-handed by the De Taali gang.

Choudhury took up this unlikely-for-a-woman vocation four years ago and has countless incidents of eve-teasing to recount, like the one where she had to put her Karate black belt to good use, when two men refused to pay up. She shares her views on the initiative, "This is a good way of inspiring confidence in women to fight back, most of who prefer to ignore the misbehaviour, so as not to attract more attention."

The radio station also plans to train women in self-defence, because, as Padmanabhan says, "It not only gives them the required confidence to question the act, but the lack of it (self-defence training) is the primary reason that makes women ignore incidents against themselves." In a similar vein, the station's RJs also distribute pepper sprays to women at all the locations that they visit.

The radio station has also launched a special anthem against eve-teasing, which plays on Big FM and can also be downloaded as a mobile ringtone from the station's website.

For Big FM, this is a long-term initiative, and the station plans to take up many more issues in the time to come. For this initiative, it has also tied up with the Special Police Unit for Women and Children, the erstwhile Crime Against Women, a Delhi Police division.

However, the biggest challenge that the campaign has faced is not catching the eve-teasers, who, incidentally, have been coming up in droves, but the attitude of the citizens of Delhi. Says Padmanabhan, "The general attitude of the people of Delhi towards this problem is, 'Aisa hee hota hai aur aisa hee hota rahega' (This is what happens and it will keep happening). It is this mindset that we are targeting through this campaign. And, we do realise that it's not a short-term objective, but we'll have to keep working on it to see some positive change in our city."

However, the good word is spreading. Padmanabhan shares that the station has been receiving many appreciative letters and calls from women across the board.