On a dusky winter evening in November, the little lanes of the drowsy village of Rakkar lit up with a gentle trail of candles and the reverberations of 40 voices singing for a safer and more just society for women. Together with Anganwadi workers, members of Jagori took out a candlelight march to commemorate the One Billion Rising campaign. The vision for a better world for women and girls flowed through all the songs sung that evening and the slogans chanted.
Jagori kicked off the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence by visiting and conducting a meeting with residents of Bengali Colony in Sidhbari. The residents were informed about the campaign and the evening ended with them saying that they would have a formal meeting with Jagori later in the week, to discuss their issues and needs.
Jagori Rural, Himachal Pradesh
On November 25, 2021, our project Maanush mentees had organised Midnight walks in three different locations. 100+ women and girls joined us for the walk. After the walk they were taken to a tea stall and were served tea and just had fun, spreading the message that these spaces should be accessible for women as much as they are for men any time of day or night.
Azad Alumni meet is a gathering of alumni of Azad Foundation. The alumni meet gives everyone a chance to meet old and new friends. On 25, November, 2021, Azad not only had its alumni meet but also started with the 16 days against gender-based violence and OBR campaign, to create violence free bastis. the two events were kept on teh same day as to talk to a larger audience about the campaign, thus giving it the attention it deserves.
Azad Foundation, Rajasthan
Nari Gunjan launched the OBR campaign on 25th November 2021 at the large village of Musahar community (nomadic). Nearly 950 women and girls came together after 2 years of isolation. They recalled the energy of the earlier pledge and solidarity risings. They shared their experiences of violence and concerns around their safety.
They shouted powerful slogans and loudly sang songs together – an amazingly enthusiastic celebration. Women committed to rise to end the war of violence on the bodies of women, to end rape, battery, sexual harassment, incest, trafficking, homophobia and
trans-phobia, and the earth.
Nari Gunjan, Bihar
On 25th December, 2021, One Billion Rising (OBR) 2022 has been launch in Bihar with a peaceful march in Patna by Sahyogi organization. The theme of this activity was ‘either it is early morning or dark night, it is our right to be safe and
secure, and the message was loudly resounded among the common people. This candle march was organized in Painal Panchayat, Patna and more than 100 adolescent girls and women participated with carrying lighted candle in their hands with banners and placards with clear messages of equal rights and dignity for girls and women in our society.
The participants marched through the adjacent villages and gathered at Painal Panchayat ground. This candle march was led by Ms. Rajani, Executive Director, Sahyogi and accompanied by organizational colleagues, volunteers and local girls and women.
The One Billion Rising Campaign – 2022 was launched by Ekta on 25th November, 2021 in Madurai and Chidambaram districts of Tamil Nadu. The participating members expressed their commitment to continue the process of public awareness and advocacy for gender justice. Unanimously, it was agreed to organize the 14th Feb event in 2022 at the Gandhi Museum.
Jagori Rural team organised a program in Mandal Village of Dharmshala block to celebrate Human Rights Day. On this occasion, about 40 women participated and spoke up about the equalities and inequalities that prevail in the society. The women were encouraged to focus on a mindset change to bring a more equal and just spirit in the community. There was a dilogue on importance of Earth, Women and Health as a part of OBR campaign.
Jagori Rural conducted a successful poster making competition with the students of Sihund Govt High School. The students were first introduced to Jagoriand its work. Then they were educated about the OBR campaign and the importance and need to stand up against inequality between genders and violence against women, girls and the earth.
The children really enjoyed themselves and though the boys were reluctant to join, they did a great job too. It was a great experience working with such energetic and creative young minds.
Jagori Rural, Himachal Pradesh
One Billion Rising India in collaboration with The Himachal Queer Collective organized the First ever Pride Walk of Himachal Pradesh. HQC is a collective in Himachal who are trying to offer different kinds of support to the LGBTQIA+ community in Himachal Pradesh. The Pride was organized on 15th December 2021. It was a small step to raise voice against the Gender based violence in Himachal. Pride started as a protest and in memory of the Stonewall riots in 1970 but today it is also a reclamation of the streets by queer people.
Himachal’s first Pride was monumental as it is the first time a large number of queer people and allies came together to celebrate and support the LGBTQIA+ community in the state. People from all over the country traveled to Palampur for participating in the walk. It was full of colors, songs, joy, laughter, dance and pride. After the parade, people of Palampur were very eager to know more about it and that led to meaningful conversations between them and the participants of the walk. HQC & OBR received love and support from people and organizations all across India and that was extremely encouraging for us.
Maya Angelou – Still I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,?
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.