Bollywood star Ayushmann Khurrana is a thought leader who constantly tries to change society with his progressive, conversation starting entertainers. Ayushmann, voted as one of the most influential people of the world by TIME Magazine, has been recently appointed as UNICEF’s Celebrity Advocate for their global campaign EVAC (Ending Violence Against Children). On World Human Rights Day today, Ayushmann speaks about a child’s right to have a safe environment to grow up and how parents and teachers have a critical role to play to achieve this.
Ayushmann says, “Violence can and should be prevented. As parents, teachers, members of the community and duty bearers we all have a role to play. We need to reach out to children, to help them understand that they can speak out about violence they face to their parents or call the helpline -- ChildLine 1098. We have to help children understand how they can protect themselves.”
He adds, “We also need to reach out to parents, friends, communities as we know that violence happens at home, in school, in playgrounds, by people children trust. Helping them understand the importance of changing their behaviours and responses towards violence as well as increase reporting.”
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (2018), every hour 5 cases of child sexual abuse are reported in India. The National Family Health Survey - 4 reveals that 1 in 5 adolescent girls experience physical violence since age 15; that 99% of school children are subject to physical and mental abuse by teachers (according to the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights 2012). These are just reported figures.
Ayushmann, as the Celebrity Advocate for UNICEF, will be reaching out to kids and families to promote awareness on this mission. He says, “My effort as a UNICEF celebrity advocate will be to reach out to the maximum number of people with messages to appeal to them through the way I can do best, to support ending violence against all children. I am committed to using my voice, my social media platforms, my talent and my celebrity status to focus the country’s attention on the need to #ENDviolence against children.”