As many as 700-800 people walked at Delhi Slutwalk arthaat Besharmi morcha today at Jantar Mantar, making it a success. But among the hundreds of people comprising students, foreigners, and activists, who were there to protest against sexual harassment of women, there was a glaring absence of people from the the lower classes.
Inspite of that, the excitement among the participants was palpable. Enthusiastic participants shout slogans during and held placards during short walk from Jantar Mantar via YMCA back to Jantar Mantar.
The organiser Umang Sabarwal, attended the event along with her family, amidst police security. Grinning from ear to ear, the 19-yr-old- Delhi University student, couldn't contain her excitement, "I'm very happy with the response, the event was energetic and clean. Whatever misconceptions people had that it will become tamasha, have been proved wrong. This is just the beginning, our aim is to keep this going and create awareness about women's issues."
Interestingly, there were as many men participating in the march as women. Belinda Fleichmann, an activist from Switzerland, created quite a stampede when she lifted her short to write a slogan on her tummy. Blissfully unaware of the leering male attention, she looked happy at being at the center of such change, "This is a very good start, small or big doesn't matter, the fact that women are taking to the streets and men are supporting them. The big thing is that the issue is being discussed in public."
The walk was followed by a streetplay by Asmita Theatre group. Arvind Gaur, director of Asmita Theatre Group said, "We want to fight for an equal place for women in this society. We can't change the law but we can change the society. Our street play, Dastak, attempts to engage in dialogue directly with the public and create awareness."
Commenting on the government's irresponsible attitude, he added, "Our administration is very weak, instead of doing something they comment that the city is unsafe, girls shouldn't wear short clothes etc. Only 2% people get justice in rape cases, and eve teasing is not even considered a crime. Today I can see that youth will begin the change because they think about social issues. It's not a woman's fight, its society's fight for justice."
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