A violent crime is committed against a woman every three minutes. An estimated 50 per cent of married women face domestic abuse. In the face of such inhumane exploitation, will you #Respect2Protect women? In a video that was launched on Monday, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni affirmed he certainly would.
“The only thing I will ever hit.... is a ball” reads the pledge that MSD signed. The pledge is part of the campaign #Respect2Protect by Hyderabad-based foundation, My Choices.
“Protecting a woman or a girl means respecting her; protecting her right not to be aborted just because she is a girl. Every girl’s right is to be cherished as the princess of her father’s heart, and valued for everything her life will bring to this world,” says Dhoni in a minute-long video, where he also refers to his daughter Ziva and hopes that she too will “become a strong, capable, and wonderful woman, just like her mother”.
Earlier this year, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravi Shastri and Ambati Rayadu were part of the same movement, one that gained international prominence and support from other cricketers such as Gary Kirstin, Graeme Smith, Mark Boucher, Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen. The initial video of the campaign had received more than 7 lakh views.
“The previous video, one starring Virat Kohli and the others, was out in March, during the World Cup, and even though Dhoni’s daughter wasn’t born yet, he expressed his desire to be a part of the campaign,” says Hannah Norling, marketing directer, My Choices Foundation.
The team got in touch with Dhoni again and flew him to Chennai to shoot two videos. “The second one is part of a campaign that we hope to launch next year,” says Hannah. The 35-minute shoot took place in Chennai, and Dhoni found it a challenge.
“He was punctual, gracious and is hard-working. This was a video shoot that he was part of after a long time, so he wanted his dialogue delivery to be perfect so that it made an impact. After every shot, he would go through the footage and then shoot it again as he felt he was rusty,” says Hannah.
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