She’s one of the most talented actresses of her generation, able to flit easily between mainstream Bollywood (‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’) and edgier, more complex roles in films such as ‘That Girl in Yellow Boots’.
Kalki Koechlin has also established a reputation for her views on social issues, in particular the treatment of women in India and on Monday bravely shared her own, very personal, story as a means of raising awareness.
“For me it’s an important issue and I wanted to talk about it. It is not about giving you my history as a person who has gone through sexual abuse but to put forward the idea.
“So many of us have gone through it and most of the people that I know especially close friends of mine who are women have gone through some form of CSA (child sexual abuse)”, Koechlin told a news conference organized by Rahul Bose’s’ charity ‘The Foundation’ which aims to eliminate “discrimination of all forms” from Indian society.
“Right now 53% of the nation is going through CSA that’s more than half the country and that’s only the official statistic.
“I think there’s a lot more happening because we know in a lot of families we brush it under the carpet and because of social, cultural pressure we don’t talk about these things,” said Koechlin.
The actress also admitted that her own abuse had changed her as a person and spoke about how acting had been a way out of the trauma.
“It took me many, many years to even come and talk about it.
“It’s also how you choose to go ahead with it and what you choose to do with it. For me my writing and my art, my acting is therapeutic, it’s my way of releasing things out.
I think everybody has different outlets as long as there are places where you can do that. Not everybody has the privilege to talk about it openly.”
It’s not the first time Koechlin has spoken out publicly about the issue of abuse.
In 2013 she released a spoof video about the targeting of women in India, taking a direct swipe at certain segments of society who believe that rape is partly a woman’s fault.