Delhi's Premier Fashion Institute NIFT joins movement against rape
A virtual discussion jointly organised by Ogilvy India and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Delhi, brought together subject matter experts from legal, law enforcement, education, and policy on a common platform calling for active measures to raise awareness for a citizen's role in combating rape and expediting justice with better use of forensic DNA technology.
Opening the discussion, Neeti Banga, Associate Professor, Leather Design Department, NIFT Delhi said, "Youth has always been the greatest drivers of social transformation. They have the potential to disrupt inertia with their energy and creativity. However, to tap into that, our education system must introduce them to pressing social issues and seek their participation in finding solutions."
"Traditional learning must be supplemented with critical thinking and creative thought to facilitate change. This initiative deals with one of the biggest challenges our society face and it requires a new way of thinking. Only when we change mindsets can we ensure a safe and free world for our women and children. We are delighted to be associated with this cause and look forward to extending our support to bring the message home," she added.
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Dr Pinky Anand, Sr. Advocate, Supreme Court of India stated that breaking the cycle of abuse will require concerted collaboration and action between governmental and non-governmental actors including educators, health-care authorities, legislators, the judiciary and the mass media.
"Education of young men and women will lead to a change in attitudes and perceptions. The youth of this nation needs to understand the sensitivity of this issue and create awareness through various mediums, by conducting webinars, joining causes like #DNAFightsRape and further help in educating the citizens of this nation," she added.
Vivek Sood, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India said, "authenticity of evidence in criminal prosecutions including rape cases, is critical for securing a conviction of the accused."
"There's a risk of rapists going scot-free and innocents getting punished. DNA is a very credible piece of evidence that nails the rapists and exonerates the innocents who are falsely implicated. DNA evidence supports criminal justice in rape cases, as no other piece of evidence. It is also the strongest piece of corroborative evidence that supports the version of the victim of rape. In cases where the rape victim dies, DNA can be used as stand-alone evidence," he added.
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Arneeta Vasudeva, Senior Vice President & Capability Head PR and Influence, Ogilvy India added, "Rape is a pandemic that has infected our society for long. With only one in four such cases leading to conviction, the future looks grim unless we do something about it."
"What started as the #DNAFightsRape Save the Evidence citizen awareness drive has today become a movement with members of the civil society stepping forward to spread the message of Don't Wash, Don't Clean. Save the Evidence in their unique ways. We will continue to take this message to the masses till conducting DNA tests in rape cases becomes the norm," she added.
Official statistics show a dramatic increase in the number of crimes against women, which have shot up from 24,923 in 2012 to 33,356 in 2018 a jump of 34 per cent.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, one woman is raped every 15 minutes in India, whereas only one in four reported rape cases results in a conviction. (PTI)
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