A poster used in the campaign
‘Does being overseas rid us of our responsibilities towards those less fortunate than us in the subcontinent?’ This is the question Tarun Sharma and other students across Australia have been asking.
On June 2, 2014, these students launched a campaign called #VoiceAgainstRape, which seeks to put pressure on the authorities in India and demand that survivors of rape be treated fairly by the police, the healthcare system, the courts and society at large. As part of DHOOM Medical Charity (DMC), Australia’s biggest student-run charity, they started an online petition that mirrors the concerns raised in the Fighting Rape episode. Tarun says, “Many of my representatives have been inspired by Satyamev Jayate. Thanks to such shows, these issues are brought into our living rooms and are analyzed. This has helped to better our understanding of how survivors of rape are dragged through the system and at times ridiculed by the police, courts and healthcare system in India.”
The campaign video and posters, which are circulating on social media, also mention www.satyamevjayate.in. Tarun tells us why: “I liked the short, succinct and informative videos available on the website. They educate and arm the general public with their rights and other important information. In particular, the article Doctor, I demand… was of particular interest to me, being an aspiring doctor myself.”
#VoiceAgainstRape plans to reach 1 million people and collect at least 7,000 signatures. Already the campaign’s FaceBook page is being populated with selfies of people from across Australia holding up signs that say ‘Real men don’t rape’ and ‘Don’t teach girls what to wear, teach boys not to rape’. The word is getting out and the signatures are coming in. As public pressure builds in India and abroad, the hope is that the issue of rape will be treated severely as well as sensitively, with justice being meted out swiftly.
In the past, the DMC has raised funds to support community healthcare projects, disability homes, children’s hospitals, and the healthcare and education for orphans in South Asia. It was founded by a group of medical students at James Cook University in Townsville and has since spread to Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin.