Parvathy Amma hardly knows who Eve Ensler is and has never heard of a campaign called One Billion Rising. Nevertheless, she clapped and watched some 300-odd women dancing to loud music on the Shankhumukham beach. Her two daughters joined her in cheering the dancers even as they sold peanuts.
“If this music is about teaching society to respect women, then let us do it,” she said clapping along. Little did she realise that she was joining one million women in 197 countries protesting against violence against women through a global campaign.
The women from the city gathered on the beach on Thursday to extend their support to the global campaign, which began as a call to action by lead campaigner Eve Ensler based on the statistics that one billion women would be beaten or raped during her lifetime. The campaign began with a two-wheeler rally of women led by Amrita Mohan.
Members of Natana, a socio-cultural organisation of Technopark employees, danced to the theme-song of the campaign. A large crowd had gathered to witness the event. Many among the audience joined the dancers.
Girls from Abhaya, a home for destitute women, received loud applause from the audience for their karate performance. Parvathi Baul added charm to the evening. Her soulful baul songs on mythological women mesmerised the audience. Students from various colleges in the city participated in the campaign. They presented cultural shows on themes such as the status of women, the need to strike, and respect for women. Students of the College of Fine Arts put up sand sculptures creating awareness of the campaign. The programme came to a close with a performance by ‘Vidwaan’ band.