Voices That Matter
It’s the age of campaigns and protests! Moreover, armchair activism, thanks to social media. But there are exceptions, who still believe in going out there and making a difference. Like the little known man Dadarao Bilhore, who has gone around Mumbai filling more than 500 potholes after he lost his 16-year-old son to a pothole on the road three years ago. Commoners like him—with and without a cause—came together with Bollywood actors and practising lawyers at Title Waves bookstore to launch a social media campaign #HerVoiceMatters. The brainchild of distinguished lawyer and social activist Abha Singh, the campaign was kicked off with a seminar. Giving their voices to this initiative were actors Zayed Khan and Parikshit Sahini. Also present at the event were entrepreneur Parvez Damania, Dr Aneel Kashi Murarka and actors Naazneen Bedi and Nandita Puri. Although the campaign revolves more around LGBTQ rights and adultery laws, Mumbai’s other difficulties like potholes and food-in-cinemas were also brought forward. Zayed observed how the city which was designed to support 60 to 70 lakh people has to support 2.25 crore souls, thus needing a better social and civic infrastructure. On the other hand, Dadarao highlighted the problem of potholes ailing Mumbai. He emphasised the importance of wearing a helmet and said that the onus is on the individuals to fill potholes of their respective areas. Zayed promised to lend his full support to Dadarao for this cause. Abha’s son Aditya Pratap also stressed on the need to combat corruption and for people to take up issues themselves. After much debate and discussion, it was time for Abha to take the stage. Very eloquently, the lady summed up all the issues that were discussed and fielded questions from the audience. Parikshit Sahni kept the audience engaged with his anecdotes and shayaaris. For a diverse crowd comprising of students of media and law, journalists and commoners, this event was an eye-opener.
Aditya Pratap, Zayed Khan, Abha Singh and Dadarao Bilhore