ONE BILLION RISING — A GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AND DANCING IN PROTEST AGAINST VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
ONE BILLION RISING began as a call of action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, PeaceWorks in association with Swayam joined activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities, and women and men across the world to express their outrage, demand change, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.
PeaceWorks mobilized youth through its network of schools. Six schools in Calcutta, La Martiniere for Boys, Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, St. Joseph’s College, Chowringhee High School, The Heritage School, Mahadevi Birla World Academy rose with PeaceWorks and Swayam to show solidarity, through silent protests and choreographed dance performances outside their school premises. In order to make the process more meaningful the students made their own posters demanding an end to violence against women.
Mahadevi Birla World Academy
The High School students (around 200 in number) of Mahadevi Birla World Academy came out on the street outside the school campus with posters and banners for the campaign. Their demonstration began with a group of children reciting a poem written by the students themselves. It dealt with the anger and frustration that every woman feels .… it called for a stop to regressive thinking,it wished to put an end to the prevalent anti- women attitude and to a society that allows women to be treated in a degraded manner. It conveyed the vehemence, the anger the desire and desperate attempt to bring in change as soon as possible to make the world a better place to live in. For everybody.
The poem set the mood for the entire demonstration and soon the dancers took over. The dancers depicted the harassment and violence that all women have to face. A lot of props were used to make the demonstraion multi-dimensional. This was followed by 2 more dance groups who danced while their classmates sang. The effort and the energy established the fact that these girls put in their best to make ONE BILLION RISING a huge success. The demonstration ended with everybody singing the National Anthem.
One does not know how to measure the impact or the change brought in by a campaign such as this, but one can be assured that it shall not go in vain…it shall influence and impact people even if the numbers are few.
Lakshmipat Singhania Academy
Young adults lining up outside their school on two sides of the busy Alipore Road, with banners, speaking of their concerns and fears: this is what One Billion Rising looked like outside Lakshmipat Singhania Academy on the V-Day.
Students, mostly from class IX, came out with banners and stood on both sides of the Alipore Road. Teachers escorted them; and for half an hour these children stood in solidarity with the One Billion Rising Campaign that had spread like wild fire, both within and outside the city.
One student said that such a campaign is important because it spreads the message that violence against women is not to be tolerated. Many students felt that the government and society should be more proactive while there were some who felt that this was an opportunity for people their age to come face to face with the reality.
Click here for the video>>> lsa students speak out on need to protest
Chowringhee High School
Students from classes IX and X lined up with posters outside the school, swaying to the beats of Break The Chain, playing on a loop. Pedestrians took their time to read the posters and speak to the students and some of them even shook a leg with the students in solidarity. Half an hour of demonstrations and dancing let people in the vicinity know that this was a school that took up the cause as their own and believed that their participation and involvement played a significant role in bringing about a change in the society at large.
St. Joseph’s College
We believe that projects about awareness of women’s rights and prevention of violence against women is of utmost importance and that such projects should involve both men and women. Hence we approached St. Joseph’s College for Boys and put forward this idea and to our great pleasure, they showed keen interest. The high school boys devised a demonstration for the morning in school.There were dance performances, mimes and wonderfully choreographed demonstrations done by a brilliant bunch of students specifically on the themes of eve teasing and domestic violence amidst other issues. The teachers also actively participated. They spoke about the campaign with enthusiasm, they showed solidarity and concern for the cause. Their views and opinions clearly reflected that the youth of the nation are deeply moved by the atrocities that are inflicted on women and that they are willing to take a stand against it.
La Martiniere for Boys
500 students from La Martiniere for Boys walked to protest against the violence that women are subjected to. They walked along Loudon Street, Rowdon Street and Moira Street.The massive turnout caught the attention of the people and compelled them to think about the cause.
Loreto Day School, Sealdah
An overwhelming initiative by the Loreto Day School, Sealdah left us all touched and moved. The students, with the help of their teachers, designed an entire programme for the campaign. There were two brilliantly choreographed dance performances that revolved around the central issue of women’s rights and violence against women. A large group of students lined up on the Sealdah over-bridge with their posters and placards. The students even approached the pedestrians and urged them to stop for a moment and think about the issue. This provided the students with a platform to voice their opinions. The people responded well and showed their concern by signing the posters and petitions.
There was a student from the group, who explained the concept behind the campaign to people in Bengali. This ensured that anyone who approached them, or were approached by the students could understand the initiative.