Mumbai: ActionAid Association (AAA) has been honoured by L’Oréal Paris for its exceptional efforts in bystander training. Renowned actresses Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Mandira Bedi presented the award during a prestigious event hosted by L’Oréal Paris in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
The event witnessed the presence of several eminent film personalities, including John Abraham, Aditi Rao Hydari, Fatima Sana Sheikh, Shefali Shah and Prasoon Joshi. Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, also graced the occasion.
L’Oréal Paris recognized ActionAid Association for its contributions to the cause of bystander training. The ActionAid Association team, comprising Anamika Roy, Roshan Gajbhiye and Sandeep Wadhe, received high acclaim for conducting the most training sessions among all participating organizations. Speaking on the occasion, the activists shared how street harassment is a pervasive issue that disproportionately affects women and vulnerable communities. It perpetuates gender-based violence, restricts freedom of movement and reinforces harmful power dynamics. AAA has been actively addressing the issue of street harassment through its Bystander Training Programme. The objective of the initiative was to end harassment of women and girls on the streets and in public spaces by educating bystanders to become first responders in case of incidents of harassment.
Over the past 14 months, AAA has successfully trained 79,188 individuals, including students, dabbawalas and other informal workers from Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra. AAA also focused on mobilizing and convincing traditionally hard-to-reach groups, such as auto drivers, to participate in training actively. The primary objective of this initiative is to empower both men and women to safely intervene when they witness or experience street harassment, utilizing the powerful 5D methodology – Distract, Delay, Delegate, Document, Direct. This training promotes a culture of safety and respect in public spaces, contributing to the fight against street harassment and gender-based violence.
While felicitating AAA’s Fellow Sandeep Wadhe, Mandira Bedi commended the organization’s remarkable achievement of educating 80,000 bystanders in just one year to address street harassment as part of the Stand-Up Project. Representatives from L’Oréal also praised AAA for its impactful work.
Dipali Sharma, Director of Organisational Effectiveness of ActionAid Association, expressed her heartfelt gratitude for the award, emphasizing that “the sense of fulfilment we derive from delivering these training sessions as part of this programme is mirrored in the enthusiasm of the individuals we have trained. It demonstrates how, as bystanders, we can make a difference in someone’s life.”
Tanveer Kazi, Associate Director at ActionAid Association, noted that “the award revitalizes our energy to continue our work combatting street harassment. We are deeply thankful for this honour and recognition.”
ActionAid Association extends its gratitude to all fellows and team members whose dedication and hard work have made this achievement possible.
About ActionAid Association:
ActionAid Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a just and equitable society. By collaborating with communities, individuals, and governments, they work towards eradicating poverty, patriarchy, inequality and injustice.