After the horrific gang rape in Delhi in 2012, the name ‘Nirbhaya‘ was officially born out of a lot of angst. Our silent screams were deafening, our dark clouded eyes cried and most of us relived the pain of Nirbhaya that somewhere lurked in our pasts. For the first time, we spoke. We did not feel alone.

My journey to heal has been slow but my feet and soul are firmly grounded in the belief that the circle will be complete and we all have a part to play in ensuring that no woman or girl is left to ever experience what we did.

With my work and stories, I grappled to find solutions, to understand the reason why we have become such beasts.

Earlier this year, the pain was relived through the Kathua rape and murder. It shattered the childhood of many. Like me, many had put their demons into a dark closet only to see its doors open again for the demons to slowly make their way back into our present.

The numbness of our society has to go. The sick plague of such predators has to be eradicated. Our children and our women have the right to a safe, fearless life.

The question that troubled me was – “Would we constantly live with this chronic wound of fear and pain?” This definitely cannot be it! The numbness of our society has to go. The sick plague of such predators has to be eradicated. Our children and our women have the right to a safe, fearless life.

So when we, at Safecity, were appointed by the UN Habitat to host the Urban Thinkers Campus in Mumbai on the theme of resilient, inclusive, women-friendly cities, I found a platform to contribute and voice my feelings. I realised It was important for us to put together visuals that would make everyone sit up and take notice of how we had deteriorated as a society and failed our women and girls in providing them with a safe eco-system. We had to create something that would reflect the ‘Nirbhayas’ in our lives. It had to open conversations and encourage more sustainable solutions than headliners that disappear into oblivion after a couple of months.

From “Save the girl child” to “Save the boy child”

We changed the narrative from “Save the girl child” to “Save the boy child”. “Beti Padao – Beti Bachao” became “Beta Padao – Beti Bachao”.

We strongly believe that when we teach our children to respect equality, consent and boundaries, to value other lives as our own, we will be building a future that will be devoid of violence against women and girls. If we bring up our boys with such values, our girls will not need saving.

If we bring up our boys with such values, our girls will not need saving.

Please do watch our short film, share it and be the change that we want to see.

Supreet K Singh is the Director & COO of Red Dot Foundation- Safecity. Views expressed are the author’s own.

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