The city rose as one on One Billion Rising

This year, a few of us celebrated Valentine’s Day differently. The Capital was inundated with programmes taking place as part of the international campaign One Billion Rising. Urging people to stand up against all forms of violence against women, the campaign was organised by prominent women activists in New Delhi.

“Through this movement, we challenge the aggressive masculinity prevalent in our society. This is a freedom movement for all the women who are oppressed, marginalized, tortured, abused and ignored,” said Kamla Bhasin, advisor of Sangat.

Varied activities like flash mobs, a choreographed dance by students of Kamla Nehru College, a monologue by Lady Shri Ram College, Wheelchair dance by Samarthayam and Ability Limited Foundation, songs by community women and commitments by eminent activists, took place in different parts of Delhi.

In the evening, candles were lighted to salute the spirit of the girl who was gang-raped in the moving bus in December. Exhibition of posters and performance by the Delhi Drummers group also took place.

The campaign attracted nearly 60-70,000 people across the city and figures ran into millions outside the Capital — in UP, Ahmedabad, Shillong, Vadodara, Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh etc. Even outside the country, like in Bangladesh, a whopping 2.5 million people were involved. The campaign was worked around by Nobel laureate Mohammad Younus’ non-governmental organisation.