A 5-km midnight run to reclaim Delhi’s public spaces
The event, organised by an NGO in association with Delhi police, saw women and girls across all age groups participate in the five-kilometre run. Throughout the run, several men from a cycling club from Indirapuram accompanied their wives, daughters and friends on their bicycles.
Two days ago, acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal raised an alarm inside a Metro train against a man leching at her. Despite it being a public space, Agarwal said nobody came forward to support her — not even women.
It was with a hope of reclaiming such public spaces that Agarwal joined about 150 other women at Connaught Place on Sunday night for a ‘midnight run’ titled the ‘Fearless Run’. The event, organised by Delhi-based NGO United Sisters Foundation in association with Delhi police, saw women and girls across all age groups participate in the five-kilometre run. Throughout the run, several men from a cycling club from Indirapuram accompanied their wives, daughters and friends on their bicycles.
They were joined by several women personnel of the Delhi Police as well. For a 25-year old Delhi Police constable, the walk was important as she saw many families coming in to join the cause. “I am stressing on ‘families’ as women are equally unsafe inside their homes as they are outside. So proper mental orientation of family members and relatives is important,” she said.
The woman cop recalled how during her childhood she was traumatised by a relative who kept touching her inappropriately for years. “Sexual abuse within the family is worse as you cannot even speak out. The person who would be inflicting the trauma would be so elder and you would see your own parents giving so much respect to him. It becomes a tricky situation for the woman,” she said adding that she now gives self defence training to women and girls in schools and colleges.
“The Fearless Run is a symbol of reclamation and empowerment. Every woman participant learns that they can roam freely in all spaces irrespective of time. Today, we must forego the stereotype of a woman being confined to the indoors after dark,” said Madhur Verma, Deputy Commissioner of Police in New Delhi district.
First Published: Sep 11, 2018 03:54:06