Join 1 Billion Rising to ‘Strike, Rise, Dance’ this Thursday

This Valentine’s Day will see a large number of individuals and over 20 city-based organisations come together in Cubbon Park on Thursday to ‘Strike, Rise, Dance’, demanding an end to violence against women.

Organised as part of a worldwide campaign, 1 Billion Rising, the event will take place in several cities in India and across the globe, inviting women, men and children to “walk out, dance, rise up, and demand an end to violence against women”.

It marks 15 years of V-Day, a movement started by Eve Ensler, the American playwright and activist who wrote The Vagina Monologues, to end violence against women and children.

Why dance? 1 Billion Rising’s website quotes Ms. Ensler who describes dance as “a way of being very powerful and a little dangerous without being violent”.

City-based groups such as Vimochana, Garment and Textile Workers’ Union and Action Aid will participate in the event here, which will include folk dances, street theatre, food stalls, a DJ, street rangoli and candlelight storytelling.

“Valentine’s Day has become about the commercialisation of love,” says Mercy Kappen of Visthar, an organisation that works to enable women, children and marginalised sections realise their rights. “Instead, we need to affirm that true love does not inflict violence. We want to build relationships between women,” she says, explaining that Visthar will participate in the global event to express solidarity with all those demanding an end to violence against women. Visthar will put up large canvases for live Warli and other forms of paintings, on which passersby are invited to paint their messages of hope and resistance.

Vimochana, a women’s rights forum, is one of the organisations participating in the event. “Until everyone in Bangalore determines not to have violence in and around their lives, incidents of violence will continue,” says Shakun Mohini of Vimochana, pointing out that crimes against women in Bangalore were the highest in the country after New Delhi. Vimochana will organise a storytelling session and film screening at Cubbon Park, in coordination with Maraa, a media and arts collective.

1 Billion Rising will begin at 2.30 p.m. at Manjula Mantapa, the entrance to Cubbon Park from Vittal Mallya Road.

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