Ride for Gender Freedom- Pedalling against acid attacks :
Vidya, a young woman of 21 years of age from Adambakam, Chennai, was attacked with acid, by her jilted lover. She succumbed to fatal injuries on 25th day from the attack. But, the attacker is roaming free now in the same vicinity.
The idea behind ‘Ride for Gender Freedom’ :
The list of acid attacks survivors is long and more names are being added continuously. Despite the little that has been done to prevent these attacks, new names of women appear across the country, who have been almost killed with the easily available acid.
The campaigners at Stop Acid Attacks try to reach out to as many of them as possible and bring them back to life. Many go unnoticed, still heading towards isolation and disregard from the society, that discriminates on the basis of their appearance and gender.
What we have understood at the campaign is that the problem is deeper than the easy availability of a chemical weapon like acid. It has to do with the parenting and upbringing, which generally encourage children to treat women as objects. It has to do with the men who are ignorant of how to accept and how to respect a ‘NO’; a ‘No’ to being in love or getting into a marriage, a ‘No’ to engaging in a sexual relationship. This is how all of us probably behave. Accepting a ‘No’ is quite difficult for all of us. Especially from a woman! Many amongst us blame the women for what they face. Our acceptance of the criminals and justifying their violent acts only disappoints the already victimised girl further, as she tries to put together her now shattered life.
The campaigners of Stop Acid Attacks try to reach out to as many of them as possible and bring them back to life. Many go unnoticed, still heading towards isolation and disregard from the society due to the discrimination in various forms.
The Ride :
This is an effort to take this cause to villages and towns, solely manifested by Rakesh Kumar Singh, an eminent Hindi author, journalist, creative writer and a formal corporate communication professional. Working with acid attack fighters, Rakesh has gathered enough inspiration to pedal through the length and breadth of this country on a bicycle, where he can get to experience the country’s untouched hinterland and spread awareness about crimes and gender based violence, especially against women, including acts like acid attacks. It is necessary for the people across the country to know that such crimes against women are happening around them and are increasing day by day. He intends to convey this message through various media forms including puppets, colors, posters, photographs, films to the masses in Indian villages which has not yet migrated to urban towns. While there is no fixed time for his pedalling, he will be on wheels for 2 years in the first phase of his ride. This journey’s worth, impact and duration depend on you to a large extent.
While Rakesh starts his ride as a lonely crusader, he will be elated if you join him for a small or a big part of his journey. There are no plans regarding the time-limit of this ride which is completely crowd-funded.
Author : Guduvancherry, Tamil Nadu