Here's How Pakistani Celebrities Are Powerfully Uniting Against Social Injustice Through The #MeinBhi Campaign

By Sajeer Shaikh | 14 Mar, 2018

When the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns began, no one anticipated the impact they’d have globally. 

Metoo-1
Source: chicagonow.com

 

All of a sudden, notable individuals started coming under fire for their abuse of power.

While the West saw this wave of change, many of us back home wondered when such a storm would shake the foundation of our nation. Zainab’s loss was a catalyst for this impending storm. Suddenly, the hashtag #MeinBhi came into being.

Soon, Pakistani women started coming forward with stories of abuse.

Actresses, designers, and various influencers united to speak up. The conversation around abuse and social injustice started formulating.

Source: tribune.com.pk

 

Also read: Actress Nadia Jamil Sharing Her Experience Of Being Abused Is Encouraging Others To Come Forward

 

Furthermore, a stage as grand as the Lux Style Awards 2018 featured the following performance that was nothing short of powerful.

All of this begs the question – what is the #MeinBhi campaign? We talked to Frieha Altaf, the woman behind the campaign. Here’s what she had to say:

“The #MeinBhi movement is about ‘coming together’. Coming together to take a stand against social injustice issues this country faces. When Zainab’s case came to light, the people of this country showed us what solidarity can achieve – it gave many people, like myself, the confidence to speak up. When I shared my story about child abuse with the nation, the support I received was overwhelming locally and internationally. It made me realize how much we can achieve if we all come together. The #MeinBhi movement was inspired by this. I want to make all the brave children, men and women of this country know that they are not alone, that they shouldn’t be afraid to defend their basic human rights.”

Source: tribune.com.pk

Of course, not everyone was convinced that the campaign served a true purpose. Many wrote it off as a “rip-off” and ” mere lip service.” However, Frieha defended her campaign when asked about the same:

“Pakistan, with a population of 208 million, faces a lot more social issues as compared to the West. The #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns are limited to sexual harassment, whereas the #MeinBhi movement encompasses much more. We have issues such as child labor, underage marriages, lack of education, minority rights, to name a few, to deal with. This movement represents a range of statements – ‘I stand by your side if you want to speak up, I stand by your side if you want to talk about your story, Mein Bhi aapke saath hoon’.”

However, the campaign isn’t limited to a hashtag. Frieha and her team rounded up a plethora of celebrities for a music video.

The song features around 36 voices and a 40-piece orchestra. When talking about the purpose of this video, here’s what Frieha had to say:

“Music is a powerful tool and the use of it can generate emotions in people. The #MeinBhi anthem has been taken from Shehzad Roy’s song ‘Kya Darta Hai’ to support this cause and can be used not only by NGOs but anyone and everyone to promote the human rights campaign.

Since this powerful anthem finds its roots in Shehzad Roy’s song, he too weighed in with his thoughts about the campaign:

The team behind the campaign has been doing its level best to spread the word. Frieha elaborated on the same:

“The campaign was initiated at the Mad Block Decent Party concert in Islamabad where we managed to raise Rs. 1 million for Sahil, an NGO working against child abuse. This was followed by a Fashion show in California in partnership with Calpak Education Services which supports women’s education. We are also working closely with the newly formed Ministry of Human Rights and did their PR for the First International Human Rights Conference. At the LUX Style Awards, we had the Ministry of Human Rights helpline (1099) everywhere to encourage people to speak up. And this doesn’t end here; we have a lot more to achieve.”

child-abuse-help-me-hand
Source: khaama.com

We also reached out to some of the artists involved in the making of the track. Mohsin Abbas Haider was one of these artists.

Talking about what drew him towards the campaign, he stated how he admired that the campaign and song covered a wide range of injustices that people faced on a daily basis. Being a keen observer of social issues, he talked about how such campaigns are a necessity. He hopes this campaign will prove to be a drop in the ocean of other initiatives that intend to eradicate the evils in our society. Moreover, he hopes that the campaign won’t be a mere passing breeze that’s easily brushed off. Instead, he wishes that it instills courage in all those who are afraid to speak up.

Source: @mohsinabbashaider/Instagram

He also highlighted his own #MeinBhi incident.

Mohsin talked about him and a few of his colleagues falling prey to professional politics that inhibited his career trajectory. However, he pointed out how it was important for him to put his foot down to get what he truly deserved. That is also the advice he imparted to all those suffering from any kind of social injustice. He urged people to find a middle ground while continuing to be strong and adamant enough to fight for their right.

While Mohsin’s story is not one of abuse, it is one of social injustice. And therein lies the importance of the campaign. It allows people to speak up about all forms of evil.

Source: samaa.tv

We also spoke to Jasim Haider, of Jasim Haider & The Pindi Boys. Here’s what he had to say about the campaign:

“I was highly moved by Frieha Altaf’s bold initiative. The noble cause merits to be supported; more so, when our country is in the grip of menace.”

He seemed optimistic about the movement taking off well. Additionally, he believed it would be appreciated and seen as an important movement, especially due to Zainab’s tragic death.

He also shared some simple advice for all those suffering silently:

“Be bold, come out.”

Source: patari.pk

We also spoke to Natasha Baig. Here’s what she had to say:

“I became a part of this campaign because I keep hearing about different forms of social injustice, which simply isn’t fair. The people from various media industries – I believe it’s our job to raise our voices against social injustice. I think the campaign will have a huge impact. It’s amazing that the movement has its roots in Pakistan. It’ll show the world that we too have the power to speak up.”

Source: pakistani.pk

While Natasha did say that she’d been a victim of social injustice, she didn’t wish to elaborate on her #MeinBhi story.

She said that it disturbed her a lot. However, she remained hopeful that with time, she’ll learn to accept things and move on. Moreover, she hoped that others facing social injustice would find it within themselves to speak up.

Source: @natashabaigofficial

The team behind #MeinBhi set out with a certain purpose in mind. For any campaign to be successful, it has to leave a deep-seated impact. Frieha talked about the same:

“The power of media including social media is incredible. Our celebrities have a huge following – through one post we can reach millions of people. We have a video to the #MeinBhi anthem which will touch many hearts. We continuously urge celebrities to connect with NGOs and help in whatever way possible. Through this movement, we want to let everyone know that they are not alone, that they can voice their opinions and concerns without being afraid of being judged and know that they have the support of all of us behind them.”

All of us have a #MeinBhi story.

And within each and every one of us, there’s a burning desire to live in a Pakistan free of social evils. With this movement, let us vow to be swayed and persuaded into working towards betterment and change.

 

These Stories Of Child Sexual Abuse Victims Are An Eye Opener And Here’s What You Can Do To Help

 

Shahzeb Khanzada Urged Parents To Teach Their Children About Sexual Abuse And That’s Exactly What Pakistan Needs

 

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Cover image: Catwalk Events

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