Rise! 2017- A Billion celebrate Women and Love

Today in Patna on Valentine’s Day some four thousand women ( and a sprinkling of men and transgenders ) from all walks of life  gathered to celebrate “One Billion Rising” at Bihar Vidyapeeth near the historic Sadaquat Ashram (where freedom movement started).

This year in 2017, one billion rising is focusing on the exploitation of women and building a stronger global solidarity to end violence against women.

One billion rising is a global movement. It started five years ago in year 2012 by Eve Ensler as a part of V- Day movement to end physical and sexual violence against women and girls. In the month of February various people and the organisation come together to show the power of togetherness.

This global movement is an advocacy for rape, female genital mutilation and sex trafficking. Over these years it had deepened their area with bringing economic violence, violence of poverty, racial violence, gender violence, violence caused by corruption, occupation and all those violence that impact women.

Frank Krishner, a long time advocate for women’s rights, children’s rights and LGBT rights, said that it is significant that V-Day is chosen to commemorate the event, because ‘True love cannot encourage violence.’ Saint Valentine’s day is a day for expressing not merely ‘romantic love’ and gifting hearts and teddy bears, Saint Valentine was a martyr for the fidelity and commitment of love and marriage. it is a day of commitment, of a renewal of  genuine love, and such a love has no place for violence, he told this reporter.

This is the second large scale observance of OBR in Patna. The first was in 2013.

The affair in Patna was mainly NGO driven, and was attended by  well-known local activists among which we spotted Padmashree Sudha Verghese, journalist Nivedita Jha, Caritas Switzerland Country coordinator Keerti, Women activists from Ekta Parishad, social activists linked to Action Aid and their partners, photography students from Patna Women’s College, transgender activist Reshma and her team, and several other well known faces of women’s activism in the civil sector.

Background of OBR:

In 2012, the campaign culminated in the biggest mass global action to end violence against women ever with tens thousands of events held.

A group of women arrive for the One Billion Rising congregation in Patna

On September 20, 2012, people from 160 countries had signed up to take part in the campaign and from that time every year this movement had been enlarging.

Around 5,000 organizations have joined the campaign, which has also been aided or endorsed by religious ministers, movement builders, actors Rosario Dawson, Robert Redford, and Stella Creasy, British Labour Co-operative politician and every year one or the other celebrity come and support the movement.

This revolution demands commitment, courage , trust, belief and love. So it needs solidarity against exploitation of women.

Rise !, Disrupt !,Connect ! – is the 2017 slogan

Prepared by Seema Kumari and Newsnet Desk, Photos by Rajesh Tirkey