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Tribute Campaign Kicked Up for Delhi Gangrape Victim

Several songs of protest, a monodrama and a full-length play depicting violence against women kickstarted a week-long event to mark the anniversary of the gruesome Delhi gangrape.

Mumbai theatre group Swaang teamed up with city-based band Majma to launch "Jurrat: Aazaad Chalo, Bebaak Chalo!" campaign in memory of the 23-year-old paramedic, who was gangraped by six people inside a moving bus on December 16, last year. The incident had set off a nationwide outrage.

"We had been planning the campaign from quite some time. We wanted to raise the issue of gender-violence but in our way, that is the cultural way," actress Swara Bhaskar, one of the founding members of Swaang said.

The actress was part of performances of songs of protest that included the "Maa Nee Meri" (My dear Mother) composed during protests post the incident.

"This is an endeavour to fight our own complacency as a society and people and not allow the 23-year-old girl's fight and spirit and ordeal to fade into a crime-record statistic. I became a part because I wanted to. I hope others join in too," said Swara at the event launched here last night.

Theatre artiste Mallika Taneja enacted a monoact drama titled "Be Careful", which drew applause.

"Jurrat is a lovely concept. I love the name and I am glad I could be part of it," said Mallika.

A one-hour act "Museum...A dying species" by Mumbai-based theatre group Being Association depicted a hard hitting account on discrimination and cliches faced by women.

"I am glad that our debut performance received such a great response. Wherever we go, our play is loved and appreciated," said Rasika Agashe, the play's director.

Human rights lawyer Vrinda Grover who inaugurated the event said, "Women from across classes are saying no to sexual violence and are standing up and demanding justice. We now need to see whether the legal system will have the 'Jurrat' to live up to the constitutional guarantee of equality and dignity."

Various music and street theatre groups are scheduled to perform across the city till December 15. The event is set to conclude on December 16 with a mobile concert performances by Rabbi Shergill, Sona Mohapatra and Swanand Kirkire.

"Jurrat is a political endeavour to continue the ongoing discussion and protest on gender violence, as also see the issue in its complex relation with structural inequalities. We want on ground interactions.

"We don't want people standing on stage and giving lecture, rather we would love to hear what the common people have to say on the issue," said Surpriya Chotani, founder member, Majma.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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