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Delhi SlutWalk postponed to July

The Delhi SlutWalk, originally scheduled for June 25, must now wait another month. Umang Sabbarwal, the college student who brought the slutwalk to town talks to Anjali Nambissan about organising this pioneer initiative.

entertainment Updated: Jun 21, 2011 11:28 IST
Anjali Nambissan

Amid great uncertainty, only one thing is for sure - Delhi will not see its first-ever SlutWalk on June 25.

Umang Sabbarwal, the 19-year-old student from Kamala Nehru college who brought this international phenomenon to Delhi told HT, "It's definitely not happening on June 25. It's very difficult to get every thing done so quickly. We haven't even approached the police for permission. We need to figure out what we need for that. I know what issues I'm aiming at, but things keep coming in from other organisers. Once things start shaping up concretely we will be in a position to approach the concerned authorities."

Facebook mandates entering a date while making an event page, which prompted her to declare June 25 as the date of the walk.

"Tentative date that we are looking at is either second last or last Sunday of July," she informed. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/slutwalk-women.jpg

The organisers are yet to zero in on a location, though the Facebook page says that it could be somewhere in Connaught Place.

"We're hoping for a location in central Delhi, we even have a tentative location in mind. Again we don't know what that requires, how many people will turn up, whether traffic needs to be stopped and all."

What's so great about being a slut?
So now that we have none of the nitty-gritties worked out, what is it then that we're w(t)alking about again?

"We have a patriarchal set-up in our society that sets a structure for 'perfect' women to operate in. Any sort of behaviour that is 'unacceptable' means she is open to assault. In Delhi, crimes against women are high, the intolerance to their freedom is so rampant that it is suffocating. We desperately need something like this," stresses Umang.

Could we agree more? With the national capital being No 1 in the number of rape and molestation cases, the answer is hell, no.

A woman is raped in Delhi every 18 hours, but are the Delhi SlutWalk organisers missing the point?

"The movement is not about clothes. Things happen even if you're dressed in a salwar kameez. Being attractive is NOT being inviting. So, women can wear whatever they're comfortable in. If you want to come scantily dressed to make a point you are more than welcome. But I don't think that's the point here."

How the SlutWalk came to town
"It started when I read about the Toronto SlutWalk. I'm sure a lot of people read about that. When I read about it, an instinct told me that this should happen here. I posted links on my (Facebook) wall and started talking to people. Eventually, I set up the Facebook page and since then the responses have been pouring in."

Her friends at Kamla Nehru were among the initial set of organisers for now.

"My friends at college were the first to support my endeavours. I never thought I would be speaking to newspapers and the media one day," she smiles." People email me asking to become a part of this and I make it a point to always reply."

Still an uncertain reality
"There's a lot that needs to be worked out right now. We're meeting tomorrow to decide on who will be the organisers, where funding will come from, location, dates - everything. A friend of mine is in talks with NGOs to figure out how to go about it. I think they'll be able to help as they've done this before," explains Umang.

"Tomorrow is when all the things will, hopefully, fall in to place."

Kudos to these young women who are taking control of their life, city and security. An initiative that definitely deserves a shoutout, not to mention, guidance and support from the more experienced.

Anyone interested in taking after these teenagers?