PVR Plaza, New Delhi, 10thMarch, 2016: On the occasion of the 100th International Women’s Day, PVR Nest, the decade old social program of PVR Ltd., the largest cinema exhibitor of India; Show of Force, implementers of the Frame Her Right Campaign; and SafetiPin, the country’s only audit based safety application, launched a unique youth-led program, “Campus Ambassador Program; Making Delhi City Safer.”
The initiative aims to empower youth to have an active role in developing safer cities. Leveraging a newly developed app, Safetipin, youth are trained on how to collect safety-related data and report on violations or issues around the city. The initiative is part of the Frame Her Right campaign, an initiative inspired by Half the Sky Movement that was launched in 2014 as part of a USAID-funded public-private partnership seeking to challenge harmful gender norms and behaviours.
Inaugurated by the guests of honour, H.E. Mr. Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India and H.E. Mr. Nadir Patel, Canadian High Commissioner to India, this initiative encourages and builds the capacity of the youth to partake in developing better city planning and design. The program will roll out the ‘SafetiPin App’- a United Nation’s supported tool to enable the development of safer cities through the collection of data, crowd sourcing and information sharing. The launch included a power-packed session with a panel of eminent thought leaders, and awards and felicitations of women leaders who have worked impeccably for women issues. The event also premiered the exciting campaign film, which will be screened across select PVR screens for the next 90 days.
Speaking about the occasion, H.E. Mr. Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India said, “The launch of the Campus Ambassador program is both timely and necessary as India has the world’s largest youth population. Globalization, technological advances, and the spread of social networking offer new opportunities for youth to connect and become more active participants in finding solutions to the world’s toughest development challenges. The U.S. Government is supporting this and many other such programs that support the goals of preventing gender-based violence and protecting the rights of women and girls.”
Further H.E. Nadir Patel, High Commissioner for Canada to India added, “Canada has long been at the forefront of developing smart and safe cities, and we are happy to associate with this great initiative by PVR Cinemas. I am confident that this drive will encourage young minds to generate fresh ideas to city design, attempting to make Indian cities safer for all residents.”
On the occasion, Ms. Niharika Bijli, daughter of Mrs and Mr Ajay Bijli, welcomed the guests with her powerful welcome note. Further, Mr. Ajay Bijli- Chairman & Managing Director- PVR Limited also added, “Storytelling, if used along with supportive technology, has immense power to transform the society. Since the ultimate crusaders of this women safety program are our youngsters, PVR Ltd. will connect with them through various films and student focused content. If our student ambassadors are motivated, we will surely witness a self- sustained social change.”
Leading the power-packed session, Ms Kalki Koechlin, eminent film and stage actor, producer, playwright and screenwriter said, “I am glad that the society is consciously moving in the right direction towards women safety and empowerment. What is most exciting about this program is that so many different stakeholders have joined together to contribute for a significant cause.”
Participating in the power-packed session, Ms. Kalpana Viswanath – Co-Founder, SafetiPin, talked about the SafetiPin app that was launched during the event. She said, “SafetiPin believes in leveraging technology to make our cities safer and more inclusive for women. This mobile application provides critical information that helps people make safer decisions while moving around a city and alerts you if you are in an unsafe area. I am happy to be a part of this program as the youth can play an important role in creating safer cities.”
Adding to the panel discussion, Ms. Karishma Srivastava – Country Director of Half The Sky Movement Global Engagement Initiative, said, “One of the most important reasons for suppression of women across cultures is the lack of awareness and sensitivity to these issues. “Half the Sky Movement Global Engagement Initiative” is a transmedia program that is supported by USAID and seeks to leverage the use of media and technology to introduce new ideas, challenge norms, and bridge this knowledge deficit. Being a part of this larger women’s day celebration program will help us take our message further and make long lasting impact.”
Special guest and program partner, Ms. Smiti Kanodia, Director – Essar Group added, “Women play a pivotal role in the development and progress of society. Therefore, women empowerment is one of the six key focus areas for the Essar Foundation. Being associated with this program takes the foundation a step closer towards its greater mission.”
The occasion was also graced by the top management of PVR Ltd.: Mr. Sanjeev Kumar Bijli- Joint Managing Director, PVR Ltd.; Mr. Gautam Dutta, CEO, PVR Cinemas; Mrs. Selena Bijli- Trustee, PVR Nest and Ms. Niharika Bijli; along with Ms. Patricia Barandun- Deputy Representative of UN Women Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka; Ms. Kamla Bhasin- Feminist, Activist and Social Scientist.
About PVR Nest:
PVR Limited (the Company got incorporated in 1995,) has been an early adopter of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. Sustained economic performance, environmental and social progress has been our key factor for holistic business growth. We established the PVR Nest foundation in 2006 as a not- for profit nodal body aimed at providing dedicated approach to community development and also to fulfill our corporate s social responsibility commitments. PVR Nest foundation works with Children at Risk (Childscapes) on their complete rehabilitation, education, nutrition, healthcare and employability, additionally, through its infrastructure-business enterprise- PVR Cinemas, it fosters the largest film-based education program (Cine-Art). PVR Nest partners with local communities and builds its capacities to mitigate the issues and challenges the communities face.