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Access to public spaces: teenage girls stake their claim

Published On : 13 Sep 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy : The Hindu   |  Pic On: Photo credit : The Hindu


Mumbai (The Hindu): Around 10 teenage girls, dressed in yellow and blue, gathered in a by-lane of Khotwadi in Santacruz on Monday, and started singing hosiyaar banungi, sabse main ladungi, arre mujhe kya rokegi ye duniya (I will become smart, fight against the world, who can stop me?). This street play is part of a campaign, “Make My Space – Ab Nahi Toh Kab [if not now, when?]” to increase accessibility and safety, and remove restrictions on girls in public spaces.

Vacha Resource Centre with organisations like Akshara, Aangan, Stree Mukti Sanghatna, YWCA, CORO and Dosti have formed the Learning Community Mumbai Collective where they organise street plays and community awareness programmes for girls.

Sabrina (16), a commerce student of Podar College, said, “I have been associated with Vacha Resource Centre, which has been working with girls to help them access public spaces. I contribute through making posters, and also tell everybody about the work we do.”

With Andhericha Raja in the backdrop, 17-year-old Sabha said, “The response was so overwhelming on Sunday that we were made to repeat our skit thrice.”

Pooja, who was leading the team, said, “We need safety and not protection, and that these street plays not only spread awareness but also increase our self-confidence and self-esteem in society.”







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