A documentary film made by Janeev Trust along with the Palghar police won the Best Documentary Award at the Mumbai Asian Film Festival held last month in Vasai. The film, Janeev Ek Ehsas, attempts to create awareness about sexual harassment and eve-teasing in areas in Maharashtra and speaks about educating teenage girls on “good touch” and “bad touch”.
Having visited over 250 schools around Latur, Ratnagiri, Palghar, and Pune in the last two years, the Palghar Police and Janeev Trust believe the documentary would be a way to spread the message in areas they haven’t yet visited. “We not only discuss instinctive fear instilled in girls that prevents them from seeking police help, but also to encourage them to take action,” said Manjunath Singe, Superintendent of Palghar Police.
He added that it requires consistent effort to deal with issues like sexual assault. He said while it is important to register cases, it is of greater significance to try and prevent the incidents.
“The tragedy is that nobody wants to complain about things going on at home. Girls are going through pain but are resistant to complain. Every school we visit, we get a minimum of 1-2 complaints about sexual harassment at home,” says Milind Ponkshe, Founder of Janeev Trust, who also conducts counselling on his visits to schools.
He said ever since the start of the initiative, in 2015, the Palghar Police and Janeev Trust have addressed more than 2,000 complaints of sexual harassment and eve-teasing. “The documentary winning at the festival is an added bonus to the officers,” said Singe.