“Walk for Nirbhaya” organized by Women’s Safety Campaign Nirbhoy Gram

Malda, December 28, 2015 www.nirbhoygram.com: Powerful rural safety campaign Nirbhoy Gram today demonstrated its support and solidarity towards the deceased victim “Nirbhaya” and her family in full force. “Walk for Nirbhaya” was organized by the Nirbhoy Gram Campaign to mark the third death anniversary of a 23 year old girl who is remembered as “Nirbhaya” because of her grit and insurmountable desire to live despite tormenting pain but succumbed to her injuries. Strength of nearly 3000 volunteers, supporters and general public joined the “Walk for Nirbhaya” which was led by the internationally acclaimed gender expert and Founder of Nirbhoy Gram Campaign Nirbhoy Didi Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury. Holding placards and banners and raising their voice against violence against women in unison, the volunteers of Nirbhoy Gram commenced the “Walk for Nirbhaya” from Raj Hotel Mod and walked around the entire Malda Town.

Champion of the poorest of the poor, Mitra Chaudhury, who led the Walk, informed, “This Walk is our expression of solidarity towards Nirbhaya and her family. Nirbhaya today has become a household name and a symbol of fearlessness. Through this Walk, we are aiming to spread the message of “Walk for Nirbhaya, Walk with (Nirbhayata) Fearlessness and Walk being Nirbhoy (Fearless).” She further continued, “Malda reports rampant cases of violence against women. Heinous crimes against women, particularly in rural settings, often remain unchecked and unreported. Women face gross safety and protection violation in Malda district. This Walk is to spread the message of fearlessness among the masses.”

Further, to honour the undying spirit of the brave Nirbhaya, Nirbhoy Gram inaugurated a “Shop” on December 27, 2015 which shall be an outlet for local and national handicrafts, handlooms and textiles. This shop has been named Nirbhaya. One of the volunteers of Nirbhoy Gram Campaign stated, “The Shop is a dedication to the brave soul. This shop will be a channel to showcase products made by local artisans who struggle day-in and day-out to make ends meet. The proceeds generated by the shop shall be utilized for the emancipation of many more Nirbhayas across India.” The Nirbhaya Shop is located at the Jalkal Building, Opposite English Bazar Police Station.

On December 16, 2012, a 23-year-old physiotherapy student was brutally gang raped and by six men in the National Capital of New Delhi. The woman later succumbed to grave intestinal injuries. This led to the complete outburst of anger that was already existing and boiling within the hearts of millions of people in India. It created an emergency to attend to the escalating incidents of rape and sexual violence of women.

Nirbhoy Gram, a roaring campaign across 3000 villages of the district of Malda and brainchild of noted gender and policy expert Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhury, took its inspiration from the symbolic character Nirbhaya. Launched by Mitra Chaudhury in 2012, Nirbhoy Gram Campaign pledges to spread the message of fearlessness across the rural Malda. Nirbhoy Gram means a fearless village. It primarily focuses on safety and security of women and children. The initiative has been envisioned as a people’s movement for safety, security and justice at the grassroot. The campaign aims to remove fear from the minds of villagers, teach villagers to stand against crime and corruption, educate them to fight economic insolvency, motivate them to voice out their demands for safety and security and elect fearless and truthful leaders as their representatives in polity for social, economic and infrastructural transformation of the villages.

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