Akshay Kumar, recently at a  seminar on women’s safety alongside Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis , took everyone by surprise when he briefly digressed to address the subject of child abuse. He recounted a personal horror story that involved him as a six-year-old boy and a seemingly harmless lift operator, and urged the audience to encourage kids to communicate. Said Akshay, “When I was a child, my parents always encouraged me to speak to them frankly about everything. Whether it was discussing a sexual issue or inappropriate behaviour, I was asked to come home and talk frankly.”

When Akshay  was six, he was on his  way to a neighbour’s house when the lift man touched his  butt. He  was really agitated and told his father about the incident.He (Hari Om Bhatia) filed a police complaint.Investigations revealed that the lift-man was a history-sheeter.The cops took action and the man was arrested. Akshay as a kid was a shy one and was relieved that he  could speak about this to his  parents.But even today, he finds it difficult to say the word `bum’.  We must encourage women and children to speak up and tell their families if they encounter anything strange so that they can be protected and empowered.“