Even as the Indian team is two steps closer to retaining the world cup crown, players have sent special message to the world, to #RespectToProtect women. In this new campaign launched by the city-based NGO ‘My Choices’, India’s now youth icon cricketer Virat Kohli along with his fellow cricketers Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Team India director, Ravi Shastri, have pledged to “Respect to Protect” and are hoping to inspire others to do the same. This campaign aims to completely turn around the notions of what it means to protect a woman or a girl.
In a video launched for the same cause, Virat Kohli’s talks about his idea of protecting and respecting women. “Protecting a woman means respecting her, protecting her choice to wear, to be, to earn, to dream whatever she wants. Protect means respecting her independence, I will protect to respect.”
For Ravi Shastri, “Protecting a woman means respecting her; protecting her emotional, sexual, economic and physical rights. Protect means respecting her rights.
Suresh Raina says, “Protecting our women is how we protect our mother, sister and girlfriend, it’s important that she can do whatever she wants and we need to support her and always be there for her.”
Talking about the aim of the campaign, Elca Grobler, founder of My Choices says, “At My Choices we firmly believe in the value, beauty and strength of every woman and girl. We also believe that the greatest gift a father can give his children is to respect and love their mother. Imagine an India where women and girls are valued and respected and treasured for all they are. Imagine an India where a girl can roam around freely because she is protected by all. This campaign will inspire all of us to stand up and respect2protect. It will encourage men, young and old to step up into a position where they can and will respect and value women. And for the women of this beautiful country, hopefully this will be a reminder for them that there are thousands and thousands of men out there who want to stand up and respect2protect.”