Scores of sexual abuse survivors including children march 10,000 kms demanding 'dignity'

The survivors, both women and children, who have faced some form of abuse in their life, travelled 10,000 km connecting 200 districts in 24 states starting from Mumbai on December 20.

Published: 22nd February 2019 08:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2019 11:35 AM   |  A+A-

Sexual Violence

New Delhi A woman takes photo as she participates in 'Dignity March' comprising rape and sexual violence survivors who are raising awareness about sexual violence reaches Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi Friday Feb 22 2019. (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Thousands of survivors of sexual abuse in India, who have formed a first-of-its-kind collective to seek justice and provide support to others, travelled from across the country to participate in a dignity march here on Friday to demand an end to such violence.

The survivors, both women and children, who have faced some form of abuse in their life, travelled 10,000 km connecting 200 districts in 24 states starting from Mumbai on December 20.

One of them was 56-year-old Bhanwari Devi, gang-raped and brutalised over 25 years ago. Bhanwari Devi, who is still awaiting justice, asserted that she would continue to fight for it.

 New Delhi Bollywood actors Richa Chaddha and Chitrangada Singh support 'Dignity March' comprising rape and sexual violence survivors raising awareness about sexual violence as they reach Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi Friday Feb 22 2019.

The National Network of Survivors, the first-ever pan-India network to mobilise and orient more than 25,000 survivors and their family members across 25 states and 250 districts of India was launched at Ramlila Maidan during the culmination of the march.

A fierce Bhanwari Devi said, "I will not be silenced. I will continue to fight till my last breath until I get justice. The Vishaka guidelines were formulated to curb workplace harassment after Bhanwari Devi's case. Ashif-Shaikh, Convenor, Rashtriya Garima Abhiyan, Dignity March said when the march was started, their objective was to encourage children and women to speak out about their experiences of sexual violence without shame and put an end to the widespread culture of victim-shaming.

"It is also unfortunate that while there is huge anger against rapes, millions of victims, primarily children are trapped in commercial sexual exploitation and community-based prostitution. Society says this because they have paid money, it is not rape. But it is a case of serial rape and a heinous crime," he told reporters.

After interacting with 25,000 survivors, 2,000 stakeholders, 200 policymakers and 2,000 lawyers from across the nation, the 'Dignity March' has presented a vision document 'Safer India for Women and Children' comprising key recommendations to prevent sexual violence against women and children, he added.

Recalling her horror, Mamta from Ujjain said on the pretext of providing a job, she was trafficked and raped. "They assured me a job and took me to an isolated place. I was confined in a room for four days where they raped me. A third person arrived and had a word with the other two. "Later I was taken to another place. They left me at a house and got my signature on a blank paper," she said.

When I objected, they told me I was purchased for Rs two lakh. They confined me there for around six months. When I returned home, my husband had left me, she added. It was then that she decided to approach the police and file a complaint.

"For four days, no official at the police station was ready to hear me. Then I approached the sub-district magistrate after which police registered my complaint. A medical examination was conducted after four days," she added.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments(1)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • vidwan singh soni

    BJP is busy condemning Kashmiri Muslims to win 2019 elections? No news in Hindi/ Pro-BjP TV News channels? No care for these destitute women?
    1 month ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp