Slutwalk Artharth Besharmi Morcha is finally scheduled to take place on July 31. The 'Morcha' is picking up momentum as a social movement and is gaining support from many well established NGO's and social activists. On July 16, Jantar Mantar witnessed the Ahwaan Foundation along with Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and Rescue foundation coming together to support the Slutwalk.
The Slutwalk organisers have constantly stressed on the fact that the campaign is about core issues and not about what women should or should not wear.
Umang Sabarwal, founder of Slutwalk Delhi, started by saying "This is about real issues, bigger issues and not just about the denial of being tagged a slut. It is suffocating to live in fear."
The forum consisted of Umang, Divyajyoti Jaipuriar from HRLN, Santosh from Rescue foundation and Ritesh Sharma, film maker and founder of Ahwaan Foundation.
Divyajyoti discussed about the issues of human trafficking and how minor girls from places like Nepal, Bangladesh, and West Bengal are sent to different parts of the country and exploited. He said, "Notices were issued to all the SHO's to ensure that all placement agencies that bring girls to the city should register themselves. But this has not been implemented fully. When questioned, police says that they don't have time. So, if even police can say that they don't have time for such issues then imagine how safe girls are."
He also pointed out that the trafficking laws are so obsolete that the system needs s complete overhaul for something effective to happen. "Even Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 does not completely cover this issue." The panellists also acknowledged the difficulty which a victim faces even while filing a complaint or FIR.
When one of the participants pointed out that many girls opt for this dismal life because poverty, the panelists insisted that poverty should not become an excuse to such practices.
Ritesh, who directed the award winning documentary "The Holy Wives", elaborated on the issue of Devdasi and prostitution in the name of god and caste. He explained how these issues have origins in ancient India and that is precisely the reason why serious reforms are required in the society.
A visibly shocked Umang said, "These issues are inter-related. Slutwalk doesn't directly address to these issues but it isn't isolated from them either. At a larger level Slutwalk is a fight against such issues too."
Slutwalk, which is going to take place on July 31 at Jantar Mantar, is hoping to see active participation from all these NGOs and others.