There must be no leniency shown to offenders in cases involving heinous crimes against women. This was the recurring sentiment at a three-day convention which began here on Saturday. Titled Mhari Udaan, Mharo Aasmaan (Rajasthani for “My Flight, My Sky”), the convention was inaugurated by Laad Kumari Jain, chairperson of the Rajasthan State Commission for Women. Over 500 women from 15 districts of the State are participating in the convention, organised by Action Aid and its partner groups.
Led by feminist Kamla Bhasin, women took out a candle march from Albert Hall to Trimurti Police Memorial on Sunday to pay homage to victims of violence.
“The mindset would change only when women themselves declare that there would be no compromise with the criminals,” said Ms. Jain.
It was pointed out that Rajasthan stood second in the country in cases of violence against women. Of the 2,08,681 cases registered in 2010, about 17,000 (8.5%) were from the State. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, 1,500 (7.1%) of the 21,603 rape cases in 2010 were registered in Rajasthan.
“At the convention, participants have been discussing various aspects of women’s rights, legal procedure and resistance against atrocities on women,” said Shabnam Aziz, Action Aid’s Regional Manager (Rajasthan and Gujarat).
“The convention would also highlight the international One Billion Rising Campaign, as part of which people from all walks of life would come together to celebrate and raise their voice against atrocities on February 14, 2013,” said Ms. Aziz.
One of the objectives is to make women aware of the ways in which they have been exploited since ages.
At the end of the convention, a charter of demands would be submitted to the State authorities, said Ms. Aziz.
Nisha Siddhu of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW), Mamta Jeitley of Vividha, Nishat Husain of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Richa Audichya of Jan Chetana and Manju Nangal of Urmul Trust, Bikaner, were among the prominent speakers.