If you were at Bandstand, Bandra on February 14th last year, you will definitely remember the enthusiasm and emotion you were left with after One Billion Rising’s campaign to stop violence against women. “Last year was about spreading awareness. This year it’s about the fight for justice. We are focussing on directing people towards what they CAN do, for those who want to do something but don’t know what and how to,” says Sudipta Dhruva, Chief Creative Office of Ideas Box, event organiser of the OBR campaign.
“Last year we had a huge crowd. This year, we’re expecting around 90 performers and at least 600 people in the audience,” says Nandita Shah of Akshara, an organiser of the OBR campaign in Mumbai. “This year, we expect people who want to do something and not those who just get caught up in the excitement and then forget about it once the energy dies down. This year is about keeping the thought of justice and action alive and directing it to lead to more change,” adds Sudpita. If you were touched by last year’s performance or by what you heard about it, head to the Carter Road amphitheatre (where it will be held this year). You will be a witness to a flash-mob performance, classical, salsa and hula-hoop dances, skits, a video message from Aamir Khan, stories by young women victims of violence, about their fight for justice and more.
So who are the participants? Men and women of all ages, first-timers, students, individuals, groups and professionals. Leona Rodrigues, who is organising a hula-hoop dance expresses her reasons for being a part of OBR this year, “I heard about the event from a hula hooper, who was planning something. I thought a hoop dance is empowering and it makes you feel good, confident and sexy. It totally goes with the theme ‘to let go and release through dance’, so I thought of getting a group of hoopers together to dance and spread the word.” Pravin Done, a 34-year-old, who will be part of a singing sextet, believes “there are a lot of problems today and as artists, it is through art that we find a way to express our opinions. One of the songs we will be singing is about female foeticide.”
Last year, one billion people across 207 countries danced to protest against violence towards women and girls. Perhaps there will be even more diversity this year. What, then, is the uniting point?
The world will dance in unison to the beats of the anthem, Break the Chain, voice the slogan in tandem, and watch a video about the struggles of women (a documentation of people taking stands).
Motivated to swing into action, yet? You can help in your own way by standing up against injustice. Or, you could participate in the event and join the movement. Volunteers and funds are always welcome. You can send in a cheque to Akshara or make online contributions at Akshara’s page on www.ketto.org
So what are you waiting for? RISE. RELEASE. DANCE, and demand JUSTICE!
As the anthem goes, I dance cause I love/Dance cause I dreamDance because I’ve had enough/Dance to stop the screams/Dance to break the rules/Dance to stop the pain/ Dance to turn it upside downIt’s time to break the chain, oh yeahBreak the Chain, oh yeah! Break the Chain. See more at: www.onebillionrising.org