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Sachin Tendulkar bats for women.

He has always delivered some great innings on the field, and now, off the field too, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar has taken the stance to bat for a noble cause â€?discrimination against women. He has collaborated with director-actor Farhan Akhtar to recite a special poem for the latter’s initiative â€?MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) which is designed to create awareness among men to respect women and promote gender equality.

“Basically, the idea is to rope in people and get them to recite poem in their native language. So for the Marathi version, who better than Sachin Tendulkar? And the best part is that he agreed almost instantly when he was explained the whole idea,” says an insider. 

Originally penned in Hindi by Farhan’s father Javed Akhtar, the original lyrics hsave been translated in different languages like Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi and Marathi by lyricists Akhtar senior know well. When contacted, Farhan confirmed the news. He also tweeted, “MARD poem recorded in Marathi by Sachin Tendulkar and in Telugu by Mahesh Babu. Our voice for equality and end to violence grows stronger.”

Actually, it all started when lensman Atul Kasbekar spoke to Sachin (Kasbekar’s company and  JWT Digital has partnered with Farhan on the initiative). “I have known Sachin for 20 years now,” says Atul, adding that “during the World Cup final win too, Sachin had specially mentioned the women â€?wife Anjali and daughter Sara â€?in his life. So, of course, we knew that he feels strongly about it,” adds Kasbekar. The final nod from Sachin came during the recent T20 domestic series. 

“Farhan and I met him at Oberoi. It took him five minutes to go through details and say yes. In fact, Sachin only called us up and asked if we would want to record it before he goes off on a holiday. So within a day, we went ahead with it since Farhan had just come back from his holiday at that time,” says Kasbekar.

Mahesh Babu to support Farhan Akhtar’s social campaign

South actor Mahesh Babu will now voice his support for filmmaker-actor Farhan Akhtar’s campaign MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination). Farhan launched the campaign after the death of the gang rape victim in Delhi. The actor has now been joined by Mahesh Babu, a Tollywood star, who is all set to recite the poem MARD, and collaborate with Farhan in the cause. The poem is written by Farhan’s father and lyricist Javed Akhtar.

Farhan’s venture is designed to create awareness among men to respect women and promote gender equality. “This poem which has already been translated in Marathi, Urdu and Bengali will now be translated in Telugu. As Farhan wanted to reach out to people in the South too, he felt no one else could make more impact than Mahesh Babu,�Farhan’s spokesperson said in a statement.

Farhan, who has taken a pledge to spread awareness about gender inequality and has launched a drive to condemn crimes against women through various mediums and languages, now wants to reach out to as many people as possible.

Indian actor Farhan Akhtar's campaign for women's rights

Bollywood actor-director Farhan Akhtar is promoting a campaign called MARD - Men Against Rape and Discrimination - to get Indian men to respect women at a time when the country is outraged over cases of brutal violence against women. He spoke to the BBC'S Rahul Tandon in Calcutta.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-22349109 It has been a busy few weeks for Akhtar.

But then, that is the story of his life. If he is not acting, he is directing, or writing, or singing.

Here is a man who enjoys a challenge, which is good considering the scale of his new project, MARD.

This week, he has been in Calcutta, distributing thousands of plastic moustaches - the symbol of his campaign.

Moustaches in India are regarded as a symbol of masculinity and male honour and the campaign exhorts men to "stand up for the rights of women".

So why is one of India's most famous film stars so determined to bring about a change in the world's largest democracy?

He tells me that he "became angry and frustrated watching and reading about the way women are treated across India".

But, there is also the personal tragic story of someone who worked for his company, Excel Entertainment.

Serious issue

Pallavi Purkayastha, 25, a young lawyer with a successful career ahead of her, was murdered in her flat in August last year after a man tried to rape her.

"That was one of the reasons why I had to get involved. Why I had to do something. We all wonder what can we do to stop this, but nobody is telling us how we can do it."

I was at the Eden Gardens cricket ground when moustaches were given out to the crowd before an Indian Premier League (IPL) match. I could see many youngsters were enjoying, trying them on. It was fun.

But, this is a serious issue.

When I ask the actor why he feels some men here show such little respect for women, he says: "Look we come from a traditional patriarchal society and that mindset is mutating into something that is very dangerous.

"And the men who do not suffer from this disease - and that is what it is - they need to stand up and tell the others that you cannot behave like this because this is not what being a man is about."

Akhtar comes from an industry that knows how to capture the public's attention, and he is using all those skills in this campaign.

He is connecting with the youth of India through social media.

"It is important to target civil society and demand that it changes. We have to tell men that if you do not treat women as equals, if you do not treat your son and daughter as equals, if you hit a woman, if you molest a woman, then you are not fit to be a part of this society."

Akhtar, who is also father to two daughters, says he worries about their future.

"I am no different from any other parent. I want them to have a full life. I want them to be able to go wherever they want with their friends safely and knowing that there are people looking out for them. And for that, I have to look out for other people."

Farhan Akhtar's anti-rape awareness initiative 'MARD' trends on Twitter

Farhan Akhtar has vowed to spread awareness about gender inequality and rape through social media via his initiative M.A.R.D, which stands for 'Men Against Rape and Discrimination'.

It seems that after Amitabh Bachchan's support to Breakthrough's campaign- 'One Million Men, One Million

Promises', it's Akhtar who is looking forward to do something good for the society.

The whole of Bollywood has come up to support the 39-year-old in his special initiative.

Stars like Priyanka Chopra, Sonam Kapoor and Shabana Azmi are passionately re-tweeting his tweet, while others like Arjun Rampal and Riteish Deshmukh have even made it their display pictures on Twitter.

Farhan Akhtar tweets up a storm through MARD campaign, vows to fight crime against women

Actor-director Farhan Akhtar's has become the latest celebrity to have launched a social awareness campign through his initiative MARD, which stands for Men Against Rape and Discrimination.

Actor-director Farhan Akhtar's has become the latest celebrity to have launched a social awareness campaign through his initiative MARD, which stands for Men Against Rape and Discrimination.

As part of his intiative, the actor has aggressively started tweeting slogans on being a MARD from his Twitter handle @FarOutAkhtar. The word MARD means man in Hindi.

@FarOutAkhtar: Change is inevitable. Be part of it. Spread the awareness of what it means to be a real #MARD.

Recently, the actor was also seen performing at a college concert in Bangalore sporting a T-shirt with the MARD logo.

Akhtar's initiative has been garnering massive response on the micro-blogging site Twitter with celebrities like Shabana Azmi, Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal and Sonam Kapoor actively retweeting his posts that talk about the real meaning of men.

Here are some of the tweets that have been trending on the micro-blogging site:

@iDev007: You are a real #MARD if you take a stand to protect women

@ritesh_sid: Am so proud of my friend @FarOutAkhtar for his initiative with #MARD. Am right besides you for anything you need to spread the Awareness.

@RjHarshil: Believe :If you are a man who respects women... her rights, her dignity, her independence, her mind, her body, her life... you are a #MARD.�/p>

@rohantandon1: @FarOutAkhtar Take the #MARD message to your schools, your colleges, your offices, your homes. Each of YOU must become catalysts for Change.

Farhan Akhtar's anti-rape awareness initiative 'MARD ' trends on Twitter

Farhan Akhtar has vowed to spread awareness about gender inequality and rape through social media via his initiative M.A.R.D , which stands for 'Men Against Rape and Discrimination'.

It seems that after Amitabh Bachchan's support to Breakthrough's campaign- 'One Million Men, One Million Promises', it's Akhtar who is looking forward to do something good for the society.

The whole of Bollywood has come up to support the 39-year-old in his special initiative.

Stars like Priyanka Chopra, Arjun Rampal, Sonam Kapoor and Shabana Azmi are passionately re-tweeting his tweet.

Farhan Akhtar's anti-rape awareness initiative `MARD` goes viral

He's known to be a gentleman and the ladies man has only reinforced his faith in the power of women and the need to protect them with his latest initiative- M.A.R.D.

The filmmaker turned actor has resolved to spread awareness about gender inequality and rape through social media via his initiative, which stands for ‘Men Against Rape and Discrimination�

Farhan Akhtar, Bling and JWT redefine masculinity with MARD initiative

There was a time when tameez and tehzeeb defined what it meant to be a man. These seem to have become antiquated concepts in our country, alive in the hearts of a few, but seemingly for others, to be discovered in old cinema.

For us as a people that’s a shame. What has been even more shameful is that the event in Delhi was not an isolated incident, similar atrocities have been continuing, with impunity, without even a moment’s pause: acts of violence, abuse and rape take place every hour somewhere in our country. This is a sad statistic to have against our name, it is certainly worth doing something about it.

We cannot escape the fact that our society carries a deeply entrenched bias against women. Cities that were deemed safe are increasingly joining other parts of the country in terms of attitude, safety and lack of decency towards women.

While these incidents have boggled our collective conscience, there is a need to act at an individual level too.

Farhan Akhtar, Bling and JWT have come together to create awareness about this and remind men, if necessary, what it means to be a real man. Sometimes we all need a reminder, however basic it may seem.

They have created an identity www.facebook.com/TheRealMard and are in the process of creating a website that will power this 'by-the-people, for-the-people and of-the-people' initiative.

The initiative urges people to join in on the discussion on Facebook, or show support by giving it an all-important 'like'.

Google India launches new campaign with Farhan Akhtar to help women get online

Search giant Google on Tuesday launched a new social campaign in association with Bollywood actor-director Farhan Akhtar’s initiative MARD, to increase internet literacy among women in the country.

Google India had first time launched a ‘digital literacy�initiative campaign called ‘Helping Women Get Online�(HWGO) in collaboration with Intel, HUL and Axis Bank late last year.

“The first phase has been very successful. In the last 12 months, the number of women using the internet has grown 35 per cent as against 31 per cent by men. This for the first time that women have surpassed men in using internet. This is just the start of the programme as it’s only 10 months when we launched it (the first phase),�Google India vice president and managing director Rajan Anandan said here.

As the company ramps up its activities and takes many of them to the next level, it expects further acceleration in the campaign, Anandan said.

The jointly-promoted campaign called ‘ReachForTheSky�will look to generate awareness about the need to get women online.

It will also encourage existing users to help get more women online and spread awareness of gender equality and women empowerment.

Despite India inching closer to become the second largest internet users�country, the number of women using internet is lower than most of the countries, he said adding, “empowering the young women population with information and internet related tools could transform India’s future.�We need to build on this start and join the campaign with MARD to encourage women to come online, he added.

Google India head for marketing Sandeep Menon said the company’s aim is to help bring 50 million women online in the country.

Farhan Akhtar releases song against gender inequalitye

After the heinous rape incidents in 2012 shook the entire nation, Bollywood actor-director-singer Farhan Akhtar started a movement called 'MARD- Men Against Rape and Discrimination' in March 2013. Aiming at raising social awareness against rape and sexual discrimination, Farhan recently released a song -- Chullein Aasman -- with music composers Salim-Sulaiman Merchant.

The song talks about the marginalisation of women in India, how they should realise their potential and break all boundaries holding them back within the four walls of their homes. The lyrics talk about strengthening women and pushing them to 'touch the sky'.

Sung by Farhan Akhtar, the video also features Salim-Sulaiman with the images of women -- daughters, sisters and mothers -- from different sections of the society.

Since its inception, the campaign has witnessed support from other Bollywood celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Shah Rukh Khan, Arjun Rampal and more. Joining the campaign, actor Mahesh Babu and Sachin Tendulkar also showed support by lending their voice to a poem written by Javed Akhtar.

Watch the video here:

Farhan Akhtar sings for Google's initiative for women

Google has launched a social campaign #ReachForTheSky along with Men Against Rape and Discrimination (MARD) on Tuesday. The initiative aims to encourage and help women to adopt the internet and excel in their lives.

Farhan Akhtar, founder of MARD, has also released a song, 'Chulein Aasmaan', composed by Salim Sulaiman and co-lyricist Shraddha Pandit.

Speaking about 'Google's Helping Women Get Online' initiative, Rajan Anandan, vice-president and managing director, Google India, said, "India is on its way to become the second largest Internet population in the world and yet Indian women's participation on the Internet is lower than most countries of the world.

"However, for the first time in India, women Internet users growth rate in urban India has exceeded men in the last one year. We need to build on this campaign with MARD and encourage more and more women to access the Internet and realise their dreams."

Google has also introduced a HWGO cart in a bid to have a mobile way of reaching out to women in villagers, so as to make accessible training sessions.

Farhan Akhtar said, "We're glad we got the opportunity to collaborate with Google because MARD is about sensitising and changing mindsets, which is not something that we can statistically show. Thus, such collaborations give us a means to achieve statistically visible targets."

"Our mission is to help bring 50 million women online. In the last nine months, we have undertaken a number of initiatives reaching over 1 million women across five states, covering 30 cities and 55 small towns," said Sandeep Menon, head of marketing, Google India.

Farhan Akhtar's New Song Tells Women to Reach for the Sky

A still from the video for Chulein Aasman featuring Farhan, Salim and Sulaiman

The lyrics of the song, written by Farhan and Salim, mention how women have outgrown age old traditions and are now taking on broader roles in our society

Actor Farhan Akhtar was one of first to come out and openly speak against the rising incidents of crime against women and the founder of MARD (Men Against Rape and Discrimination) movement.

Farhan, who has voiced many songs for films and has performed live over the years for many charitable causes, has now joined hands with composers duo Salim-Sulaiman Merchant to release the new song Chulein Aasman. (Watch: When Farhan saluted Priyanka's Mary Kom)

The song is about emancipation of women and freeing them from the cultural bondages that restrict them from realizing their potential and going beyond the confines of their home. The lyrics of the song, written by Farhan and Salim, mention how women have outgrown these age old traditions and are now taking on broader roles in our society.

The video of the song, with Farhan, Salim and Sulaiman perform the song, is interspersed with images of women who have been the frontrunners of this revolution - from Youtube Chefs and budding entrepreneurs to young administrators.

The song is also part of Google's 'Helping Women Get Online' campaign, which aims to increase the percentage of Indian women with access to the internet.

Watch the song:

WATCH LIVE: Farhan Akhtar Performs Chulein Aasman! #ReachForTheSky

Today, superstar Farhan Akhtar will be launching a new music video in support of MARD in partnership with HWGO (Helping Women Get Online). This video is an initiative to raise awareness about gender inequality in India, and empower people to transform women’s lives by helping women get online. Of the 1.1 billion people, only 10.2% of Indians use the internet, leaving around a billion offline â€?and today, we want to take steps to change that! You can now watch LIVE the launch of ‘Reach For The Sky’, the social campaign of Helping Women Get Online in collaboration with the MARD initiative. Stay tuned for Chulein Aasman, a song on women empowerment, and watch Farhan perform it live with Salim-Suleiman.

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