30.12.12

Jan 1 . Pledge #SafeCityPledge





Actor and Action Hero Ritesh Deshmukh takes



Dear friends and Action Heroes,

We are all feeling outraged and heartbroken. But the recent Delhi gang-rape is not an isolated incident. We are all aware of how tenuous this notion of 'safety' is and how dangerous it is for citizens to shift responsibility entirely onto the police or government. We risk being manacled, socially, but will still not feel safe because violence lies in the minds of our assailants, not just in our neighbourhoods.

Molestation happens in mobs, in crowded places. It also happens in dark, deserted alleys. It happens in villages, on hills, in buses, trains, cinemas, godowns. We know (and surveys have shown) that women feel safer in spaces where there are a lot of other women, well-lit spaces, where they can take it for granted that the police will do their jobs.

There is a deeply entrenched prejudice against women's social freedom. Citizens often believe that women should NOT be in a wide range of public spaces - dressed, speaking or laughing a certain way. And for this mindset, citizens have to take responsibility. We alone - we together - can affect change.

Change will be seen when the rape and molestation stops. But it will begin when we change the way we live, play, love, talk. When girls play cricket and football in public maidaans. When women take late night strolls. When we begin to challenge sexual intimidation/abuse instead of justifying it.

We are asking you to examine your role. What are the small and big ways in which you can help make a city safe? Dream it. Pledge it. How would you like bureaucrats or ministers in your city/state to make your city safe? Ask them to pledge it. Carry it on a placard.

Join us on January 1, 2013. We will be gathering between 4:30 and 6 pm. Join us (or help organise a similar Pledge in your town). Details below:

Bangalore: Cubbon Park MG Road

Delhi: Central Park. CP

Gurgaon:

Kolkata: Kolkata Maidan near fountain

Shantiniketan: Bolpur High School, Sri Niketan road

Mumbai: Carter Road

Goa: Miramar Beach. Near Coffee Day

Chandigarh: Sukhna Lane

Chennai: Elliot Beach

Pune :

Hyderabad:  GVK One, Road #1, Banjara Hills. (Near the Hard Rock Cafe Entry gate). 


Below are some examples of the pledges others have taken. Please. Take a pledge.

"I pledge to keep taking the regular bus and insisting on more fleets that are not as expensive as the ac volvos"

"I pledge to get proper street lights near bannerghatta road"

"I pledge to do what I have to do, when I have to, with whom I have to. I pledge to turn my anger into constructive action."

"I pledge to not listen when someone asks me to 'face reality'. I'll slap it."

"I pledge to counsel parents. Starting with mine."

"I pledge not to blame a rape survivor. No matter who/where/what she is."

"I pledge to never blame myself. For whatever I may have faced, no matter how "painted", "dented" or "sundari" I was."

"I pledge to refuse to fill up any kind of application(other) form that asks you for your father/husband's name."

Show up. Spread the word. Make your own #SafeCityPledge. Tweet it. On Jan 1, make this your Facebook status message.



Text prepared by Action Hero Annie Zaidi

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