Bengaluru FC, a football club playing the I-League in India, has rolled out a film through which it makes an appeal to make women in its city feel safe. The film has been conceptualised in-house.
It features footballers Sunil Chhetri, John Johnson and Daniel Lalhlimpuia. The film begins with the players putting out their targets for this season of the I-League. Along with winning, training hard and playing fair, the players have something else in mind this season—the recent molestation case in Bengaluru. Calling it 'horrific', the players claim that when 50 per cent of the population lives in fear, there is something wrong with each of us. They reach out to viewers to be an example for the guy next to us and call for treating women the way they'd like to treat themselves. The call is to make the city a fortress, by taking a pledge to be better men this year. They add that moments like these require change, and switch their traditional blue jersey, to pink. They end with a message that the cause against women injustice is in their hearts, on their minds, and now on their sleeves.
Speaking with Campaign India, Mustafa Ghouse, COO, Bengaluru FC, said, "We weren’t happy with the incidents that took place around new year's eve and the time around that. As a team we felt that it was something that we needed to talk about."
Ghouse added that safety is something the club has been looking to promote since the club launched in 2013. "We have spoken about providing a match day experience to fans since our launch, and the starting point of that is safety and security. Whether it’s young kids, elders or girls. We wanted to change the demographics of people who visited stadiums right from the beginning. There was a perception that no one visited stadiums to watch games. During the first two seasons we wanted to communicate that it was okay for people to visit the stadium, and all the ammenities were there. So, it’s part of our culture and thought process and we felt that these incidents was something we weren’t happy about," he said.
The Pink jersey sported in the film, wasn't planned post the incidents. Along with the traditional Blue jersey, the team had decided to go with White and Pink as its away jerseys for the season. The team wore this jersey for its opening match of the season against Shillong Lajong.