Women cannot and should not live in fear of public spaces. This was the message these women gave today through their act.
Women have a birth right to roam freely in public places at all hours. Alas, this simple human right is often forfeited in the interest of their personal safety. Today, December 16, is a gory reiteration of this reality. For, exactly five years ago, a young physiotherapist from Dwarka, Jyoti Singh, was brutally gangraped in a moving bus in South Delhi.
Things have to change. Women cannot and should not live in fear. This was essentially the message that women across Dwarka gave today when they slept in the DDA park of Sector 3. "This move demonstrates that women are coming together to reclaim public spaces. This activity is part of a programme Meet To Sleep, which is an initiative of a Bengaluru-based organisation Blank Noise. Meet To Sleep is an event that remembers the gangrape and murder of Jyoti Singh," said a woman participant.
About 30 women from various sectors and societies of the sub-city participated in the event. While in the park, they also discussed various issues related to women and security in public places.
The event was organised at Dwarka by the social organisation Sahas. Purvi Yada from Sahas informed City Spidey, "Through this event we tried to show that public places are for us too, and we have to remove our fears.”
The event started at 11 am and concluded by 4.30 pm. After the discussions, the women lay down on mats across the park and slept. After an hour, they sat together and shared their feelings.
Mona Yadav, a participant, said, “While sleeping I was alert and very conscious of the noises around and the movements of people. I was not relaxed. This shows how hostile the environment is for women.”
Ritu Khulbe, a resident of Sector 22, who also participated in the event, spoke about the male-dominated society we live in.
The event was concluded with a discussion, in which women talked about how to work ahead to usher in positive change.