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Emphasis on women safety

Activists deliberated at length on how society has become insensitive towards crime against women at Premchand Rangshala on Sunday.

The lecture — “Violence against women: Society and Government” — was organised by Artists Against Violence, an eight-year-old joint forum of theatre and cultural groups of Bihar.

Poet Alok Dhanwa said: “Ever since the New Delhi gang rape occurred, poets, professors, journalists, theatre artistes, social activists, members of democratic organisations and students have been protesting. On December 21, others and I went to Begusarai to take part in a ceremony and paid tribute to the victim. It was a Black December for all of us. We hoped she would survive but she could not.”

Dhanwa added: “Young girls protested in huge numbers against sexual violence. Their agitations were democratic and non-violent. Many people from all walks of life joined the protests. The laws of the Constitution were also debated at state and national levels. Cases on rapes and sexual violence were re-opened. Even foreign countries supported the movement. The media’s support helped a lot. The best thing was that the protests were done not under any organisation for personal interest. The rallies and agitations also put a lot of pressure on the government to punish the accused.”

The poet said the demonstrations should not go in vain. Instead, the Constitution should be amended and parents should try to change the mindset of their children. Girls should be given the right of taking their own decisions.

Disaster management principal secretary Vyas ji said: “Girls are neither safe in the womb nor outside it. First they have to fight for survival in the womb for there are many persons who do not want a daughter. Later, they have to fight for their honour. Some parents also get their daughters married early to shirk responsibility.”

Social activist Kamayani said: “People should stop looking at women as commodities. The mindset has to change. Punishment has to be meted out to criminals.”