In the month of December, trained youth leaders – from Raahi Youth Network, Kolegaon and Bamanwada youth groups led public signature and leaflet distribution campaigns at Dadar, Mumbai and Dombivali, Thane District on the issue of women’s and girls’ safety in public places, especially workplaces. This was in context of the recent incidents of sexual violence against young working and college going women in different parts of the country.

On 6th December, on Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Mahaparinirvan Diwas or death anniversary, at Chaityabhoomi, Dadar where lakhs of people from all over India collect annually to celebrate and deliberate over Dr. Ambedkar’s legacy, the youth leaders carried out their campaign. The focus was on how public safety of women and girls, is part of the social justice that Dr. Ambedkar contributed to in a huge way in India. They carried out the campaign being sensitive to how sexual violence affects women and girls from marginalized backgrounds more severely, and by giving out information about legal and formal procedures especially the POSH Act 2013 in simple language. Signatures were collected to support the compulsory and sensitive implementation of the POSH Act in all colleges towards making higher education safe, accessible and empowering for young women’s educational as well as social, political, mental and overall development.

The campaign was done again outside Dombivali railway station on 10th December, that is, International Human Rights Day.

The drives reached over 2000 people with sensitization and leaflets, and collected 1200 signatures in total. Many people approached the youth leaders saying they would like to support the campaign in more concrete ways.

The signatures shall be sent to relevant higher education authorities within the next year along with recommendations that have emerged over our last year’s work with colleges for making them safe for young women.