Last summer, I attended a two week leadership seminar hosted by the Aspen Institute India. Part of the program was for us to formulate a ‘leadership agenda’ – a project that we would take on for the next couple of years in a field that we were passionate about.
When given the opportunity to make a difference in any field of my choice I immediately knew I wanted to do something to do with Rape as like everyone else in this country I was greatly impacted by the Nirbhaya case as it was the first time I had really been exposed to the issue of rape and how brutal it actually was. I wanted to do whatever I could to help make Delhi, my hometown a safer place for me and all the other girls who live in fear of being violated by criminals.
I live quite a sheltered life and do not often find myself in situations where something like this could happen to me, I am not allowed to so much as step out of my gate alone. I used to think my mother and father were unnecessarily paranoid but after what happened I realized that the paranoia was absolutely warranted, and that is the scariest fact of all. It showed me how bad this situation actually is and how unacceptable it is. Its such a big issue that no body actually wants to tackle it. It just keeps getting passed around and brushed off as no one is really sure what to do about it. But I decided that enough was enough. We are the ones who are suffering and we are the ones who need to take that step and fix this.
My friend and cousin Kairavi was of the same view. We wanted to start a movement on behalf of all the women of Delhi who have to sit back and suffer this oppression. We wanted to give them a platform to fight against this injustice together.
And here we are…
Kairavi Bharat Ram
When asked to sit down and think of what we regard as the biggest issue in our city right now there was only one word that came to mind. RAPE.
Personally, I live a very sheltered life. I always have a maid in the car with me, I am never allowed to go anywhere alone, I’ve never used public transport, etc. but despite that, the fear i feel for the few seconds i am left alone is just insane.
The scary part is though that it is not irrational. This city is not a safe place for women and that is absolutely not fair.
Why cant I walk around at night? Wear what I want to wear? Be with who I want to be with? When is someone going to do something about this? And what can they do? These are all questions which are not easy to answer. But this is also not a situation which can just be left as it is.
We have to do something. We have to make a difference, and more than for anyone else we have to do this for us. The citizens of our county feel for this cause, we saw the uproar after the Nirbhaya incident, but why does everything always die down?
We realised its up to us to keep this going. Thats why my cousin Ananya, my friend Aditya and i have decided to start this NGO. To give the push that is needed and with the help of all the concerned people our city, to actually make a difference. Now all we need to do is recreate that energy, harness it and use to make the massive change that our society needs.
We want the make the dream of a safe Delhi a reality.
Aditya Raj Jain
After being exposed to the tragic rape cases in India and the increasing frequency with which this inhumane act was taking place, I was shocked.
Having two sisters of my own, I felt very insecure and started making a conscious effort to make sure that they were well clad and properly dressed at all times. Later I realized something, why shouldn’t they have the freedom to wear what they want, just like I do?
And that was when I decided that it was my responsibility, as a brother, as a friend and as a citizen to help make my city secure for all the women, who like my sisters feel afraid of going out alone in the dark. It hurts me.
When I went to Germany on an exchange program last year, we were called on the radio to talk about rape in India. The students there, especially the girls were insecure about coming here because of all the horror stories they had heard.
This made me feel insulted, not just embarrassed, but insulted because I knew that there was so much that I could do about it but hadn’t. This insult was the final thrust I needed and I decided to join this initiative because I wanted to do something about this. I wanted to a part of this movement which is bigger than me.
Sure she’s against rape, but so is he
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