Actress Neha Sharma who appeared in a short film titled ‘Vikalp’ that addresses the issue of physical and mental harassment at the workplace, says any form of harassment at the workplace should never be normalised with certain conditioning where the ‘need for job’ is put first before ‘human dignity’.
Sharing her opinion on the matter, Neha told IANS: “I think harassment, be it physical or mental is a very common situation that most of the people in our society faced and in the majority of the section cannot even raise their voice because they have to keep their job, need to earn money to survive. In the film ‘Vikalp’ also at one point, it is mentioned how bullying and harassment based on power dynamics at the workplace, has been normalised. Often we get to hear things like ‘at least this person is not brutally abusive like the earlier boss’, ‘this office is comparatively less toxic’ etc. But abuse and toxicity cannot be normalised and that is something we tried to address in the film. The dignity of a human being cannot be compromised due to the need of earning money or sustaining a job.”
The story of ‘Vikalp’ is set in a corporate office and it is the journey of the character named Shivani, a small-town girl and how she deals with harassment.
The film is directed by Dheeraj Jindal and also features Anshul Chauhan. The film is released on the digital platform Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films.
In recent times Neha has been seen in the film ‘Tanhaji’, music video ‘Thoda Thoda Pyaar’ and Voot web series ‘Illegal’. She was quite occupied in shooting the new season of ‘Illegal’ and upcoming Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer.
Why did she work in a short film? “I think while feature films and web series have its own power of storytelling, when it comes to addressing an important issue, at times, the short format makes a greater impact! It is more powerful. I myself watch short films because it is less time-consuming with higher impact and conversation starter. When the director of ‘Vikalp’, Dheeraj came to me with the story I just realised how important it is for us to talk about a regularly faced issue like harassment at the workplace that is taking a toll on our mental health. During the lockdown, the matter has got more prominence and that is why I feel it is quite relevant,” Neha signed off.