#MeToo: Government, work place must ensure woman-friendly atmosphere, says Malaika

Mumbai: Actress-model Malaika Arora on Friday supported #MeToo campaign which has gathered momentum in India, saying it is up to the government and the work place concerned to create safe and conducive atmosphere for working women.

Arora was interacting with the media after launching her yoga studio “Diva Yoga”, along with Amrita Arora, Karishma Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan and Arhaan Khan in Mumbai.

The #MeToo movement began a year ago in Hollywood after The New York Times and The New Yorker published several stories about decades-long predation of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

However, it gained momentum in India after Tanushree Dutta recently accused veteran actor Nana Patekar of sexual harassment. Following her revelation, accusations are being made against some powerful personalities in the media and the entertainment industry, including Sajid Khan, Alok Nath and Vikas Bahl.

Reacting to #MeToo movement, Malaika said: “I am not a lawmaker to comment on the legalities of this issue but if people are talking about it, if people are becoming aware of it and if more women are coming forward and talking about their stories, it’s the biggest thing to happen.

“I think it’s up to the government and the work place concerned to create safe and sound atmosphere for working women. My yoga studio is also dedicated to women and we want to make sure that women feel safe here, because their safety is the biggest thing. Gradually, everybody is going to do something to make sure that women are safe, respected and taken seriously.”

Malaika has tied up with celebrity management and entertainment marketing company Exceed Entertainment and yoga studio Zorba for Diva Yoga, described as an elite yoga studio exclusively for women.

Talking about her love for yoga, Malaika said: “I have been practising yoga for many years and anybody who knows me knows my love for fitness and yoga. Yoga was introduced to me when I had a really bad injury. That’s how I started doing yoga…and that’s how my love affair with yoga started…”

Crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for spreading awareness about yoga among people, Malaika said: “I think our Prime Minister have created a lot of awareness among people regarding yoga, and after his initiative, we observe 21st June as ‘International Yoga Day’. So, it is really nice that people have started incorporating yoga in their daily fitness regime.”

Malaika made her last appearance in a special song titled “Hello Hello…” in “Pataakha”, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj. She will also be judging reality show “MTV India’s Next Top Model”.