Enough is enough, say hundreds who take to rally
By Express News Service - CHENNAI/TIRUCHY
15th February 2013 12:27 PM
“Enough is enough… Violence ends now,” was the strong message on the lips of hundreds of women as they raised slogans, held pamphlets and danced at a rally to mark the ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign held in Chennai on Thursday.
The campaign was started by American playwright and feminist Eve Ensler against all forms of ‘sexual abuse’. It is a call to one billion people to rise against violence and take a stand for the one billion women — one in three in the world — who will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes, said Esther Maria Selvam, regional manager, Action Aid. “One billion women violated is an atrocity. One billion women dancing is a revolution,” says the ‘One Billion Rising’ website.
Annually organised on Valentine’s Day, it was a show of social unity and strength, as about 1,000 women, men and children from different organisations such as Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum, Ecomwel, Women’s Collective, Action Aid, Arunodhaya and Thozhamai gathered near Kannagi Statue around 11 am. True to the campaign’s call to “Strike, Dance, Rise” the rallyists moved energetically to the tunes of several bands as they made their way to Gandhi Statue.
With the Delhi gang rape incident and the death of the acid attack victim fresh in the minds of Chennaiites, the marchers raised slogans in Tamil, “We want political power” and “Deliver justice to women.” They held pamphlets in Tamil that read “Rise one billion women” and “Create a world sans violence against women.”
In Tiruchy, the rally drew students, research scholars, gender club volunteers, NGOs and SHG women.
The campaign was organised by the UGC Centre for Women’s Studies, Cauvery College for Women and gender clubs of affiliated colleges of Bharathidasan University. A Kaliyamurthy, former Superintendent of Police, Tiruchy, flagged off the rally.
Prof N Manimekalai of Bharathidasan University said that the campaign was organised to establish with facts the occurrence of violence on women, counselling them not to hesitate to reach out for help. “One should help and bring the issue of violence to the centrestage as it will be helpful for other women and girls to feel that they are not alone”, she said. “Change the law, get more representation for women, get more funds for women’s programmes to make cities safe and for a violence-free environment in colleges and schools. These are the main objectives,” she said.
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