Youth from Bamanwada, Bandra, Jogeshwari, Dombivali, Badlapur came together on 8th March for a public campaign to enroll people’s support to the safety of women and girls.
8th March is celebrated worldwide, acknowledging equal rights of women; a day that historically signifies rights of working women. In the context of heinous crimes against women – especially young working women – despite strong laws like the POSH Act 2013 in India, this campaign was to strongly take the message to people that working women irrespective of their caste, class, sexuality, religion, language etc., have the right to public safety, which includes their right to development, participation, contribution and leadership.. the right to safety includes their right to dignity and active participation in family, society, politics, economy, culture and every other aspect…and that it is the responsibility of various stakeholders including the general public to uphold this right. This content was written out on greeting cards which were distributed and explained to over 500 people.
The campaign also focused specifically on the responsibilities of the Mumbai Police, and had a set of recommendations for them – which were endorsed by almost 350 people with their signatures. These recommendations are:
- Trainings for police to handle crimes against women with sensitivity to gender, class, caste and other diversities.
- Police stations be approachable, with dignity for women from diverse backgrounds.
- Beat patrolling increased near colleges, bus stops, railway stations, public toilets.
- Awareness in communities about gender sensitive handling by police of crime against women.
- Trainings on mental health and justice with all police.
- POSH Act 2013 training for all police.
Next, these are planned to be presented to the Mumbai Police Commissioner.
The art for the greeting cards was made by artist Dhanashri Mane, who regularly comes to our community centres as a resource person and has helped youth come up with some great art for advocacy and awareness.