Actress Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, along with other members of the South cinema fraternity, led the ‘Save Shakti’ campaign on March 8 to tackle the issue of sexual abuse faced by women.
On Women’s Day, the campaign took place at Valluvar Kottam in Chennai, with several stars collecting signatures in support of launching Mahila courts in every taluk of Tamil Nadu. Spearheading this campaign, Varalaxmi said that this way, many would be encouraged to speak up against sexual harassment and abuse. After collecting as many signatures as she could, Varalaxmi announced that the petition would be sent to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Edappadi Palaniswami.
The event was open to the public, and actors Vishal, Sai Dhansika, Prasanna, Sneha, Jayam Ravi, Premgi Amaren, Venkat Prabhu, and many others were in attendance as well.
Varalaxmi’s decision to start this campaign comes weeks after the kidnapping and sexual assault of a popular Malayalam actress. Shortly after this incident, Varalaxmi revealed her own experience with the ‘casting couch’.
Commenting on her post, she told The Hindu, “If it is happening to someone like me who is not an outsider, there may be many more women who are keeping quiet out of fear of losing work or being boycotted,” Varalaxmi had said, adding that there is an immediate need to institute a redressal forum, and that she would be approaching the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) to set up the body.
Her campaign, thus far, has garnered 10,000 signatures.
Pic: PR Wire