Voices demanding justice for the 23-year-old gang-raped woman may fade away, but the spirit to take the fight forward will never die. Women protesters at Jantar Mantar have decided to observe January 3 as Kaala Diwas (Black Day).
Ideated by an online magazine on women’s issues, petticoatjournal.com, which has also vowed for long-term community outreach programme on gender sensitisation, those participating will shun office for a day on January 3. On that day, they will hold a meeting about how to take up sensitisation at the individual level in their neighbourhood.
The portal’s editor, Shruti Kohli, who was at Jantar Mantar, said: “Whatever is happening here is an immediate reaction to the ghastly rape of the 23-year-old woman. We need to keep the protest alive. Through the journal, and the Kaala Diwas we are going to keep the movement alive.”
January 3 was chosen because it is on that day the police would file a charge sheet against the six accused of raping the woman and brutally assaulting her.
Kohli’s modus operandi will be a bottom’s up approach to gender sensitisation among the youth. “We will go to the colonies and neighbourhoods in Delhi and hold workshops and convey the message that respect for women should be natural and not compulsive,” she said. Their team is planning to tie up with women commissions across the country for their community outreach programmes.
It was interaction with like-minded women at the protest site that the idea of observing January 3 as Kaala Diwas came up. Preeti Seth, a Delhi-based professional who vowed to strike work on that day, said: “This is a right initiative. We are the ones who have to decide how far we are going to take it (protests). Every one has to change. There has to be zero tolerance to even eve-teasing.”
Disha, a student, said everybody from the police and the administration to society needs to take crime against women seriously. “Police too are interested in compromising for petty crimes. Every crime against women is a big crime. Once let off, the same person will try his hands at something big,” she said.