July 17, 2011 2:11:10 am
India’s version of the Slutwalk,called Besharmi Morcha,got off to a shaky start on Saturday with very few people turning up for an awareness talk at Jantar Mantar. The event made global headlines on April 3 when it was held in Canada to protest sexual violence against women just because they dress provocatively.
While organisers of the much-anticipated event in the Capital expected close to 800 people to turn up,only around 50 petered in throughout the day. On the Facebook page Open Forum-Talk before Slut Walk 808 had tagged themselves as attendees. The talk was held in collaboration with Ahwaan Foundation,Human Rights Law Network and Shakti Vahini.
Umang Sabharwal,one of the chief organisers of the event,said,We cant force people to come. Weve reached out to people through Facebook and several other mediums. Increasing awareness is important. We will step up our efforts in the coming days.
Despite the dismal turnout for the awareness talk,Sabharwal announced that the event would go on as scheduled on July 31.
We will start from Jantar Mantar,move to Parliament Street and then re-congregate at Jantar Mantar,Sabharwal said.
For the few people who did turn up,there was a distinct sense of disappointment over the turnout. Chandan Kumar,who works for Childline India Foundation said,Its disappointing because people don’t seem to be genuine. On Facebook. so many promised to attend,but they haven’t turned up.”
The organisers,however,said the main issue was big enough and they were not upset with only a few attendees for the awarness talk.
Ritesh Sharma,member of Ahwaan Foundation said,We will continue our efforts and make sure more people turn up on the day of the walk. Violence against women is the root of so many of society’s problems.
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