• Rashmi Nair

Best Valentine's Day! One Billion Rising!

The best Valentine's Day, I had till date and the heartiest one.

Got the opportunity to cover one of the One Billion Rising Events which happened at Govind Puri in New Delhi yesterday and further moved on to Parliament Street. Sadly, couldn't cover much of Parliament Street had an urgent work. I will share a few snaps of the event I shot. Heard so many fascinating stories of these women.

The Girl in the Center with fist raised (picture above) and a pink bandanna on her head. Her name is Devki - One of the most daring and spunkiest girl, I have ever met. I was lucky to share the auto-ride with her on our way to Parliament Street. She is still in her late teens but to be honest, she is a true woman. A mighty warrior spirit! She was forced to get married at a young age - the in-laws treated her like a servant for the first 3 days after the marriage. 

After the 3rd Day: She QUIT! Enough is enough - no more torture, no more violence, no more slavery!

She narrated her story to me - She is (under training) Woman Driver in Azad Foundation in New Delhi. Even after earning the bread and butter for her entire household, her father favours her little brother. Her entire money is used up in paying the rent for the house. When she goes for all these events: Her father always makes snide comments like : 'Fir bhashan dene jaari hain! Ghar mat laut ke aayiyo - agar yahi sabh karna hain tujhe'. Same is the story with her little sister, but now she is there in the family to protect her little sister and guide her in the right direction. With a straight face, she said to me, 'You know the problem of our society is, no matter how much hard work I do or I earn huge amount of money to take care of my family, at the end of the day - I am the one they expect to make Rotis (Chapatti) for dinner. I am the one who has to do all household chores no matter how much I do or earn. There is no equal division of household work. A woman is expected to be homely no matter what but hardly any male in the society knows the art of sharing responsibilities! The moment we have equality in a matter of respect and responsibilities, every family is a happy family. If I ever have a son - I will raise him to RESPECT Women.'

The reason why she struck me the most was: yes, she was treated like a servant and abused for no reason at all and she still suffers the same in her maternal home but she FOUGHT! She still FIGHTS and she has RISEN!

(This above pic is trending on Official One Billion Rising page with 1400+ Likes and 590+ Shares.)

So many women had gathered .... loved the spirit!

Kayra students performance. Awesome performance by Mata Sundari College group!

We DREAM of a Better Future. We HOPE for a better society. We RISE for WOMEN!

Thanks to Kriti Team for inviting me to cover the event.

I Rise for every little girl who will be sold by her 'father' .. to be raped by her 'husband' and buried by her MOTHER.

I RISE Because No One Should Live in Fear of being Raped, 'MAN' or 'WOMAN'

Happy Valentine's Day - 2013!


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