Rape and molestation is on the rise in West Bengal, with new cases reported everyday; the student community in Kolkata decided to rally against the sudden spurt of crime by coming together at the Jadavpur University (JU) campus on Thursday evening and protesting.
Students from Presidency University, Lady Brabourne College and St. Xavier's College participated in the rally.
The rally proved to be a colourful event, with students displaying slogans and stern messaged on posters and banners as they walked onto the campus.
Posters were also put up all over the campus calling all students to join in. 13 members of the Facebook group 'Don't Rape Us' organised the rally, which drew more than 200 student participants.
Ankita Ghosh, second year international relations student at JU and administrative member of the group, said, "After the recent rape case at Jadavpur, we are addressing and opposing the issue. It may have triggered our protest today, but we are trying to address the whole issue that has left women in the state vulnerable."
"We're not 'asking' men not to rape us. It's an assertion, a statement, 'don't rape us," she said with a firm resolve.
The rally began at the Worldview bookstore in the university campus, covered the campus, walked out of the University gate opposite the 8B bus stop, till Jadavpur police station and back. The large gathering considerably slowed down traffic in the area for nearly an hour.
The play ended with a skit by the students from Presidency University.
Abahon Dutta, a second year student at the Bengali department at JU, one of the 13 key administrative members who organised the rally, said, "This is a social issue, a threat that concerns men and women alike."
He and a hundred other boys walked with the girls in solidarity with the cause that has affected all of them in some way, big or small.
"Today we are opposing to that attitude of the male, of trying to exercise power over a woman. It is a collective responsibility of all of us, as a society, to bring this to an end," added Dutta.
As the students moved around the campus, the rally silently grew longer, with students who were strolling casually around the area joining in to show their support. What started with a hundred students, ended with an additional hundred adding to the numbers by the end.
The campaigners also handed out leaflets written by the organisers that depicted a woman's emotional outburst on the issue. It also provided the factual details of the recent startling rape cases that have rocked the city.