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Home / World News / Campaign underway in UK against rising rape cases in India

Campaign underway in UK against rising rape cases in India

Called RapeFreeIndia UK, the group said its members are non-political and include women of Indian origin, including professionals working in the civil service, IT and medicine. It raised over £2000 from a crowd-sourced online platform for the campaign.

world Updated: Nov 17, 2020, 02:44 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
A billboard with the campaign message at an underground station in London.
A billboard with the campaign message at an underground station in London. (By arrangement)

A newly-formed campaign group on Monday put up billboards in stations on the London Underground to raise awareness of rapes in India and put pressure on authorities to deal with the issue by putting in place a robust system to help victims.

Called RapeFreeIndia UK, the group said its members are non-political and include women of Indian origin, including professionals working in the civil service, IT and medicine. It raised over £2000 from a crowd-sourced online platform for the campaign.

The billboards campaign, it said, will run from November 16 to December 13 with support from campaign group White Ribbon UK, which works to end male violence against women.

London-based Roohi Ghouse, a medic and member of the organisation, said: “Seeing the issue highlighted on international platforms may put pressure on India to tackle rape crimes, review strategies and put in place a robust system that helps victims get their cases processed quickly, beginning from the medical examination, all the way up to the judiciary, and provide protection to the families when under threat.”

The billboards have been put up in Regent’s Park, Chalk Farm and Kennington stations.

Leena, an IT professional and part of the campaign, said: “We are deeply disturbed by the increasing incidents of rape, and gruesome rape in India. We are not happy for India to be seen as an unsafe country for women or a rape capital. India has so much to offer and we do not want to end up with this title”.

Over 150 people in UK and abroad contributed to the campaign with funds and support, including anti-rape campaigners such as Sohaila Abdulali and Tara Kaushal, according to Rekha Sharma, a civil servant, who said the campaign remains distinctly apolitical to ensure that the focus on women’s safety is not lost.

“In 2019, with 3200+ cases ‘reported’ rape cases in India and with only 28% conviction rate, women’s safety in the country is far from ideal. We believe it should be the norm and not a privilege. We want India to be attain gender equality and mutual respect in a true sense”, IT professional Anita Rajan, another campaigner, added.

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