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Lakshmi Manchu’s VOW

Lakshmi Manchu is not an unknown personality in Telugu cinema. Though she comes from a film family, her journey in the entertainment field was no joy ride.

In an exclusive conversation with Box Office India, she spoke about a professional journey. You can read about it here.

During the conversation, she also spoke about the initiative VOW- Voice of Women. Talking about it she says, “We came up with VOW - Voice of Women when people started talking about it. One person spoke and everyone gathered courage. We are talking about women’s issues. This is not the first or last time that we will be discussing them. There are things that have been going on forever and will go on forever. But when there is a voice that is being raised, you lock arms and work together.”

Lakshmi spoke about the #MeToo movement and how she felt about it. “When the whole #MeToo movement was happening, I was a complete mess. Posters were being circulated about what is wrong and what is right. And I thought, all this is borderline and I could never say no so loudly. When a boy whistled at you, you thought you were desirable. All that I thought was a good thing, now was not. I also realised that we are so many and we are all so unaware. We are told to keep quiet,” she said.

She shared why she felt necessary that an initiative like VOW should be there. Sharing her thoughts on that same she said, “I feel that with the #MeToo movement, we haven’t even scratched the surface. Women who were talking about it were facing a backlash and were not getting work. So we thought we had to do something. Some of us who are in this film industry thought we had to come together.”

Lakshmi says that though her face is on the frontlines, the women behind the entire operation are producers Supriya and Swapna Dutta, director Nandini Reddy and actor Jhansi. “Since all of us were making and producing movies, we came up with simple things. We gave the women our personal email addresses so they could come to us. When calls go out from us, it does affect some change. Every shoot, irrespective of where it happens, is a professional environment and there is a set of dos and don’ts to be followed,” she concluded.

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