Insia Dariwala, Award-winning international filmmaker, Child rights activist & TEDx speaker
Insia Dariwala is an award-winning international filmmaker/child rights activist, TEDx speaker, and a Creative Campaign Strategist who effectively uses her expertise as a writer/director to highlight social evils like Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) through the medium of visual arts and cinema.
Today on our show, we have an award-winning filmmaker, TEDx Speaker, child rights activist, and one of the 100 most inspiring women in India, Insia Dariwala in conversation with our host Ashutosh Garg.
Insia talks to us about the three milestones in her life and profession. Her first documentary on child sexual abuse came out in 2009, her second documentary, also on sexual abuse paved the way for her NGO which helps survivors by giving them counseling, filing complaint to the police station, and so on. Insia talks to us about how her initiatives have helped in the acknowledgment of male child sexual abuse by the government of India. Insia has been a storyteller from a very young age and she tells us the challenges faced by documentary filmmakers due to the sensitivity of the issues they talk about.
Did you know that more than 32,000 cases of child sexual abuse are reported every year in India, more than 52% of children in India are sexually abused? These drastic numbers are usually sidelined and forgotten and never talked about usually because family honor is involved since most abusers are from the trusted circles of the child’s family. Insia shares very important information on how one can recognize the signs if one’s child is suffering from the same thing: sudden bed wetting, nightmares, being afraid of a certain individual, refusal to go to school, discomfort at touching them, these all account for concern and should be looked at by the parents. Insia tells us what can be done by the parents of the children who are going through this trauma, she shares how counseling both the child and parent is absolutely necessary, she also talks to us about how Indians are still in denial to acknowledge male child sexual abuse and tells us the role of government in preventing them.
Tune in to listen about the incredible work Insia is doing!
“Pain has no language, it’s a universal feeling, love is a universal feeling.”- Insia Dariwala
Insia Dariwala is an award-winning international filmmaker/child rights activist, TEDx speaker, and a Creative Campaign Strategist who effectively uses her expertise as a writer/director to highlight social evils like Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), and Female Genital Cutting (FGC) through the medium of visual arts and cinema. She has successfully executed several community projects engaging the creative medium in an attempt to mainstream such issues through art installations, poetry, live storytelling, Photography projects, puppetry animation, fiction, and non-fiction films, which have reached and engaged thousands of people across India and abroad.
Her continuous creative efforts last year resulted in getting the Union Cabinet Minister, Maneka Gandhi to sanction her first-ever study on Male Child Sexual Abuse in India, and investigate co-relations between unresolved abuse in boys, and the growing rape/violence culture in India. She also became instrumental in amending the compensation scheme for boys under the POCSO act because of her Photo campaign.
Additionally, she has led successful creative campaigns for international organizations like Hollywood Health and Society and had executed a nationwide campaign on creating Cancer awareness in India through a film called Say No To Pain, which was aired in theatres, social media, and national television. The film was viewed by 1 billion people in just 6 months.
Insia was also roped in as a Creative Campaign strategist for Global Health Strategies, a New York-based organization, which ran a campaign on unsafe abortion- My Body My Choice, released this year.
Her awards include the Shoorveer Award, the prestigious ‘Women have Wings’ courage award, U.S.A, and the ‘’We the Women ‘H.E.R’ award, in India, hosted by U.N Women. On Women’s day in 2018, she was featured as one of the 100 most inspiring women of India, in a book called ‘The Phenomenal She’, and has been featured by BBC World on their series, ‘ My Indian Life, with Bollywood actress Kalki Koechlin.
Besides her creative endeavors, Insia is also known for her ability to connect with large audiences, and her talks are featured at many conferences in India, and internationally. Insia’s recent feature documentary,‘Till Death Do Us Apart’ recently got nominated at the LIFF, New York film festival and was also chosen for the Audience Choice award at the Amsterdam FF. The film explores the context of domestic violence beyond a couple and touches upon the very crucial role of the cycle of violence in our society.
She has so far written and directed 10 documentary films and two short fictions.