Millions of women across the world have silently endured mental and physical abuse by men since time immemorial. To put an end to violence meted out against women, and to change the world’s indifferent attitude towards such issues, a global initiative called One Billion Rising will simultaneously take place in various parts of the world, beginning February 14.
In Bangalore, the event will be held in Cubbon Park and 190 countries, 15 Indian states and 13,000 global organisations are expected to take part in it.
The death of Delhi rape victim Jyoti Singh (also known as Damini, Nirbhaya and Amanath) was the tipping point of violence against women in the country. Adding to the slew of protests and campaigns that followed her rape in a private bus, the nation has awakened to its commitment towards woman and has come forward to put an end to atrocities against them with the initiative.
“This gathering is not just a strike, it is a celebration. It is an effort to reclaim the space that is rightfully women’s. Although the law has given us freedom, the society is yet to do this and through the One Billion Rising, we will celebrate this freedom,” said Shakun Mohini of Vimochana.
The rising will also see participants from Gadag, Haveri, Raichur, Koppal and other districts. According to Sangamitra from the Samraksha, an NGO operating in rural areas of the state, “It is a wrong belief that violence against women happens only in urban areas. It is not just in India, but in Bharat too that such things happen. Every day, we come across woman who are abused, physically, intellectually and mentally. This has to stop.”
These districts will gather for the rising on February 13 and come to Bangalore to participate in the rising on the next day.
Shiva Kumar Basavaiah, representing the International Basava Association, said it is imperative that men participate in the rising. “There may be men who think this is a woman’s fight and you have nothing to do with it. But ask yourself this: What if something like this happened to your mother, sister, wife or daughter? This is something that each and everyone one of us have to fight,” he said.
He emphasised that violence against women needs to be made a poll issue. “No politician is willing to take up the issue, because people have been indifferent so far. We have to force them to take it up and not be indifferent themselves.”
The rising in Bangalore will see activists, students, men, women and children condemn violence against women through dance, music, art, paintings, poetry readings, street plays and story telling.