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MUST WATCH: One billion unite for women's safety

Last updated on: February 15, 2013 15:27 IST

MUST WATCH: One billion rise for women's safety

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On Valentine's Day, people across the country came together to express solidarity over the burning issue of women's safety.

In the pages to follow, we show you how different cities in India participated in the One Billion Rising movement.

As part of the One Billion Rising global campaign, women and men across India came together to celebrate womanhood, to call for an end to violence against women and demand justice and gender equality.

The One Billion Rising was a one-day event that was held across the world, calling for a billion women to dance in a show of collective strength.

According to the movement's Wikipedia page, events were organised in over 190 countries on February 14 in response to the call by playwright and activist Eve Ensler (of The Vagina Monologues fame).

We start with a video from Bandra in Mumbai, where there were a slew of dance performances such as this one.


Video: Afsar Dayatar/Rediff.com

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We are still at Bandra in Mumbai, where a young man presented a poem in Hindi that revisits the tragic incident where a young girl was molested by a mob in Guwahati on July 9, 2012.

His words recreate the horrific tragedy in excruciating detail, with the aim of making the audience aware why India is no longer safe and free for women.

Watch the video to listen to the full poem and know why the young man says: Insaaniyat pe mard jaat ek kalank banke reh jayega.


Video: Afsar Dayatar/Rediff.com

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MUST WATCH: One billion unite for women's safety

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At the same event, Kausalya, a Dalit women from Mumbai came forward to express the problems faced by her community.

But the most heart-wrenching story of the evening came from the young Sheetal who narrated the plight of her mother, a sex worker who is always raped and beaten. 'Kisi ka maar khaana uska kaam nahi hai, (It is not part of her job to get beaten up)," the brave Sheetal told a stunned audience.

I used to watch my mother getting beaten up as a child by men who thought they could do what they want because they paid her, she said as she broke down.

Watch the young girl's stunning confession.


Video: Afsar Dayatar/Rediff.com

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ANI

IDelhi, men and women gathered at the historic Jantar Mantar and danced to spread awareness against gender discrimination and sexual abuse.

They also sang songs, raised slogans and displayed banners.

The One Billion Rising campaign received an overwhelming response in India's central and southern states as well.


Video: ANI

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An NGO organised the campaign in Chennai.

Men and women from all walks of life participated in the rally, which held at Marina Beach.


Video: ANI

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Across the state of Uttar Pradesh, more than 30 civil society groups came together to demand an end to all forms of violence against women.

In Lucknow, Ajay Dixit witnessed Odhani Ka Parcham, in which participants marched with a chain of colourful odhanis from Begam Hazrat Mahal Park to the Vidhan Sabha.

Their demands included having women officers in police stations, fast track court for cases of violence against women, a toll-free number for registering complaints related to violence against women, online registration of complaints related to violence against women and a mobile court to judge such complaints.


Video: Ajay Dixit

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In Guwahati, various NGOs and women's organisations came together to bring into public view the issue of crimes against women.

Young women and men made posters with strong messages asking people to 'Be modern in your thoughts' and pointing out that 'Leching is visual rape.'

Reba Kumar Bora captures the quiet protest on camera.


Video: Reba Kumar Bora

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Nithya Ramani

Finally, we have this video shot by Nithya Ramani at Portsmouth, England as they gathered for a flash mob at Guildhall.


Video: Nithya Ramani

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