Bangalore/New Delhi, Feb 14 : The urban Indian was at the forefront of global protests on Thursday in the One Billion Rising campaign for women's rights and Bangalore saw women coming together from different spheres to pledge their support for the rising.
The campaign was started by playwright and activist Eve Ensler (known for her play The Vagina Monologues) against all forms of "sexual abuse". Flashmobs, marches, singing and dances were planned in about 200 countries as part of the campaign's day of action, timed to coincide with Valentine's Day and aiming to bring an end to violence against women.
The recent rape and death of the 23-year-old braveheart in Delhi had brought the nation together towards this cause. The campaign is calling on one billion people to rise against violence and take a stand for the one billion women -- one in three in the world -- who will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.
"This initiative is for all those who face violence and all those who have survived violence. We should say no to all forms of violence," said Geetha Menon, secretary of Domestic Workers Rights' Union (DWRU).
Another participant said that it is not a strike but a celebration. She said that though laws ensure freedom the society is yet to do so. "We are here to stop the violence that women are subject to. It's time to say no to violence," she said.
Numerous NGO, school students, activists, survivors were part of the half- day programme at Bangalore's Cubbon Park. Several programmes which included dance, poetry, paintings, street plays were part of the agenda.
In New Delhi, the site of angry protests just weeks ago after the brutal rape of a student on a bus, campaigners said they would use the day to keep pressure on the government to introduce new measures to protect women.
"Our programmes have started in colleges and I am going with women taxi drivers to spread the word of equality because today is the day of love," said Kamla Bhasin, who is leading the campaign in South Asia.
Along with protests and candle-lit marches, India included a noisy "open drum circle" at sunset by the sea in Mumbai and a "ceremonial burial" of patriarchy and misogyny in Gurgaon, near the capital.
Sydney, Singapore and Manila were among the cities to kickstart the day of action by One Billion Rising. As scores of flashmobs took place on beaches and city squares across Australia, Minister for the Status of Women Julie Collins told parliament it was "a sad fact that every day millions of women are subjected to violence and physical abuse".