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#1billionrising this Valentine’s Day against abuse #Delhi #Vaw

ByNaziya Alvi Rahman, TNN | Feb 11, 2013, 12.56 AM IST

In the backdrop of Nirbhaya gang rape, campaign’s Delhi-wing, called ‘ Rising’ is already out on its feet mobilizing people for the event that will see flash mobs and mass dance protests at PVR Saket at 11 am and Parliament Street at 5pm.

NEW DELHI: ‘Strike, Dance, Rise’, that’s what one billion people from 199 countries, including , will do on Valentine’s Day under the campaign – One Billion Rising. The campaign was started by playwright and activist Eve Ensler (known for her play The Vagina Monologues) against all forms of “sexual abuse”. The word “billion”, say the organizers, refers to the one billion women who are survivors of abuse.

In the backdrop of Nirbhaya gang rape, campaign’s Delhi-wing, called ‘Delhi Rising’ is already out on its feet mobilizing people for the event that will see flash mobs and mass dance protests at PVR Saket at 11 am and Parliament Street at 5pm. At noon the group will occupy spaces in different parts of Delhi and express them through dance.

The Delhi wing has been set up by a group of young women professionals who were part of the protests after Nirbhaya gang rape. The girls, however, were inspired to join Ensler’s movement after they heard her talking at Miranda House college in January 2013.

“While we were inspired by Ensler, she said the outrage and protest that followed in Delhi after the gang rape left her inspired. She said she did not expect such a huge movement and unity in Delhi against gender-based violence,” said Sakshi Bhalla (25) a development worker and a dancer, who is a core member of the group. They are now being helped by noted NGOs like Sangat and Jagori to mobilize people for the February 14 event.

“While the NGO’s are taking care of offline mobilizing, we are creating awareness via social media sites… A Facebook page giving details of the movement was created on January 9.

We also uploaded ‘Delhi Rising -I and II’ videos on YouTube,” said Shruti Singh (25), a board game designer and another core member of the movement.

The team also came up with an anthem condemning acts of violence against women. The song was sung by Bollywood singers Shilpa Rao and . “We’re asking everyone in Delhi to join the global strike, reclaim the streets, create a space for dialogue and engage. We’re asking everyone not to forget and continue to intervene in their local area of influence to bring about change,” Singh said.

The video DR-I, which they claim has already got viewership running into a few thousands, share experiences of young Delhi women who have faced all kinds of abuse at home and in public.

“One of the girls talks about how she was molested in a DTC bus but she did not raise voice as being teased is considered acceptable in Delhi. However, now we want to raise our voice against even a minor form of tease,” Singh added.

The second video shows male perspective. “It gives details of how in a patriarchal system we expect men to be stronger than women. It also has experiences of men who after Nirbhaya incident sense an outrage in all women around them and feel ashamed of their so called ‘masculinity’. Men in our group will stand up to redefine the concept of masculinity,” said Sudeep Pagedar (24) a consultant with a government institute.

 

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