By Robin Gomes
In the wake of rising crimes against women across India, a group of children in a remote village of north-east India ran a race on Wednesday calling for awareness and action to ensure the safety of women in the country.
The number of crime against women has been on the rise. Every day morning greets us with depressing news about atrocities against women. Just when the country appeared to be recovering from the 2012 episode in South Delhi involving the brutal gang rape, assault and death of a young woman, similar incidents continue to take place across the country.
The latest outrage roiling India is regarding the gang rape and brutal murder of a 27-year-old veterinary doctor in the southern city of Hyderabad and the killing of a school child in Rajasthan. These cases have left us wondering if our country has become unsafe for women and children to live any more, remarked Father Felix Anthony, the Principal of Newman School in Neotan village of Changlang District in Arunachal Pradesh.
Inaugurating the race that marked the end of the school’s annual sports day, he said, “Your running today may not solve this problem. However, your act will spread awareness among yourselves to work towards building up a safer society for women in India”.
A group of 200 children participated in the 3 Kilometer mini-marathon that began from the Government Higher Secondary School in Namphai I and ended at Newman School Neotan.
Students from class four to class ten participated in the race that was flagged off at 5.30 am. Despite the early hours, everyone showed enthusiasm to be part of the event for an important cause.
“I woke up at 4 am today to be in time for this running today”, said Wangthan Chithan, a tenth grader who won the marathon. “The purpose this running motivated me”.
I would grow up to build a better country for the women to live in, said Gideon Khimhun, the youngest participant at the end of the running.
According to a Thomson Reuters Foundation study in 2018, India headed the list of the world’s 10 most dangerous countries for women. It was followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria and the United States.
On being asked whether things will change, Asha Singh, the mother of the 2012 Delhi rape victim replied, “Nothing has changed - despite everything.”
"Until strict steps are taken by the government and until laws are actually implemented, nothing will come of our screaming, protesting and candle marches. We need speedy justice now," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
(Source: Miao Diocese)