Even before 82-year-old Bilkis took to the streets to protest against CAA/NRC last December, the spirit of resistance was alive within her — for as long as she can remember, she has advocated equality among the men and women of her family. “We have rights, and if we are not granted it, we must ask for it,” she told The Indian Express.
On Tuesday, Bilkis, listed among the 100 most influential people of 2020 by Time magazine, was felicitated for her recognition by women’s groups at the Press Club. “My only other wish is that the government listens to our demands regarding CAA and NRC. If they are willing to listen, we will not protest again, even after Covid,” she said.
Bilkis was born and grew up in a small village in Uttar Pradesh, where she lived most of her life. It was only nine years ago, she said, that she shifted to Delhi. Grandmother of 11 girls and eight boys, she said, “I had never done something like this before. But when I saw children being beaten up in Jamia, I could not sit home and do nothing about it.”
We are asking for our rights so that future generations do not suffer,” she said.
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