When compared to other cities and towns in the country, Shimla fares much better in matters pertaining to women safety, although not completely immune. In 2014 alone, the number of crime cases registered against women in Himachal Pradesh was reported to be 725, with Shimla district topping the list for such crimes.
Aware of the rising incidences of crime against women in the city and the constant fear that looms large over women’ safety around the globe, YWCA (Shimla), in collaboration with Unified Shimla Musicians (USM is an NGO that promotes music and young talent) came out in support of “One Billion Rising,” a global movement creating awareness about crime against women, by organizing an evening of live music and dance performances here yesterday (14th April, 2015) at the over century old Gaiety Theater.
Chief Guest for the occasion was the city mayor Sanjay Chauhan. Speaking on the occasion, the mayor while appreciating the organizers initiative, stressed upon the need for gender equality in all spheres.
Upcoming vocalists Bhushan Kumar by singing John Lennon’s legendary composition ‘Imagine’ electrified the audience, Amit & Digvijay performance on AR Rahman’s popular ‘Maa Tujhe Salaam’ did evoke a patriotic emotion at the historic theater. Solo signers, budding music groups, synchronized dancing teams and classical dancers also gave performances at the lively evening show in an effort to harness the power of art and activism.
‘One Billion Rising’ is the largest ongoing global mass movement in support of women empowerment to ever take place. Launched on Valentine’s Day 2012 by founder Eve Ensler, a famous American playwright and activist who has inspired global solidarity among people to rise against gender inequality and injustices women are made to bear at the hands of a dominating patriarchal society.
Offending many Eve famously claimed that 1 in every 3 women on the planet will be beaten and raped during her lifetime. Taking the current world population to be 7 billion, the number of girls and women facing gender injustice adds up to more than One Billion, who are likely to be subject to crimes that range from murder, rape, domestic violence, and human trafficking, stated Eve Ensler.
The campaign adopts dance and music as mediums to reach out to people in different countries and awaken consciousness among them to resist violence against women. With the tagline “Drum, Dance & Rise,” women, men and the youth from Shimla chose to be part of the movement that aims to create a world of equality and dignity for women and girls.
Since 2012, on February 14th people around the globe have been coming together to express their outrage against injustices women suffer.
In the last two years, millions of Indians have joined the campaign across cities and towns. Large processions of men and women with increasing participation from the youth have danced their way to protest cruelties against women.
The movement has attained active support in the city here with many events have been organised in the recent past that has seen participation from men and women of all age groups.