NGOs, public pay homage to gang-rape victim; suggestions made for Verma committee

Members of various non-governmental organisations in the city, on Saturday, paid homage to the Delhi gang-rape victim who died in the early hours of the day.

Some of the organisations were Sangama, Nirangal, Shakti Resource Centre, Orinam, All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO) and All India Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO).

At the Elliot’s Beach in Besant Nagar, members of Sangama, Nirangal, Shakti Resource Centre and Orinam as well the public joined hands in a human chain. Later, the group discussed the issue and came up with suggestions for the Justice J.S. Verma committee.

The group wanted a monitoring committee outside of the police and the judiciary to follow up on such cases as even the filing of an FIR is a problem for many. A special centralised cell where complaints can be registered instead of going to a specific police station would help, they observed.

Aniruddhan Vasudevan of Orinam, a support group for lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual people, said it was the appropriate time for the society to talk about such issues. “There are some things we talk about as they are easy. With others, we choose not to as they are not comfortable subjects. We shy away from addressing sexual violence” he said.

Smitha Sadasivan of Vidya Sagar said that though India and other countries were signatories to UN conventions that reiterated fundamental concepts including right to individual dignity, right to movement and personal mobility, sexual and reproductive rights, these concepts are not being valued or practiced. “If the concept of mutual respect is being practiced, such incidents will not occur,” she said.

Writer ‘Living Smile’ Vidya said that it is important for society to stop referring to mother goddesses while women are being trampled. “We need to humanise the language of women. While language deifies women, reality tramples over them,” Vidya said.

At the Memorial Hall opposite the Government General Hospital, members of AIDYO and AIDSO and All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan paid homage to the victim. They also held a demonstration protesting violence against women.

S. Suruliyandavar, member of the state organising committee, AIDYO and AIDSO, said that portrayal of women in the media as objects of sex should be stopped immediately. “When wine shops are opened all over the country, how will good thought grow,” he questioned.

More In: Chennai | News