Kolkata,India: In India’s eastern city of Kolkata, As part of the One Billion Rising movement, a group of underprivileged children, women, survivors of violence, social activists and members of the community came together at the beautiful Indrani Park off the busy Prince Anwar Shah Road in South Kolkata to rise and dance to register their voices against gender-based violence.
According to its portal One Billion rising is “a global call to women survivors of violence and those who love them to gather safely in community outside places where they are entitled to justice – courthouses, police stations, government offices, school administration buildings, work places, sites of environmental injustice, military courts, embassies, places of worship, homes, or simply public gathering places where women deserve to feel safe but too often do not. It is a call to survivors to break the silence and release their stories – politically, spiritually, outrageously – through art, dance, marches, ritual, song, spoken word, testimonies and whatever way feels right”
It further asserts with regards to its roots that the campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering UN statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.
Thus in Kolkata, initiated by women’s activist and social entrepreneur Santasree Chaudhuri, 14th February event was made possible by the active contribution and participation of prominent members of the community such as Nandini Chakravarty, MD of Mine Line, Moumita Biswas from Church of North India, Dr Jayeeta Ghosh, grand-daughter of Sarojini Naidu, Vineeta Sharma and Sukanya Das alongwith other eminent school teachers.
Talking to The Arachneed on the participation and the organizing of the event, women’s activist Santasree Chaudhari said “I rose through my consciousness . I rose for extending compassion.And I wish to rise daily for a better tomorrow understanding interdependency and respect by honouring each other” further on relating to her vast experience as an activist she asserted that “Ending violence against women is a National political agenda.We have been promised but till date , it has failed to be a priority and protection under an evidence based effective policy development or a national action plan to protect status of women to ensure safety at home, work place and on the streets . Our empowerment is being challenged at every stage of life.”
This event also witnessesd a performace by the award-winning folk dancer Sanchali Mukherjee and her troupe giving a stirring performance while children from diverse socio economic backgrounds also participated in the event and got feet tapping and hands clapping with their performances.
Members of the Nirbhaya Helpline and Survivors for Victims of Social Injustice were also present. But the most moving moment of the evening was when everyone came together to dance to the tunes of ‘Break the Chain’, the anthem of the One Billion Rising movement amidst the beauty of nature.
By the Editorial Desk of The Arachneed with special inputs from Sukanya Das in Kolkata.
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