Nandita Das, Sakshi Tanwar at the Press conference of 1 BILLION RISING – INDIA 2013
One Billion Rising Focuses on Violence against Women Movement calls for Citizens to rise, re-energize and refocus resources globally. World-renowned playwright and anti-violence activist Eve Ensler launched a new global movement called 1 BILLION RISING from India to re-energize and refocus resources and attention on the scourge of violence against women. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS.
Presented by Poor-Box Productions & Make-A-Difference Foundation, the `1 BILLION RISING – INDIA 2013’ aims to energize and activate people towards this new movement and newly focused energy on once and for all ending violence against women and girls.
The meet was addressed by Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Actor, Director, Producer (Poor-Box Productions) and Social Justice Activist; Kaizaad Kotwal, Actor, Director, Producer (Poor-Box Productions) and Social Justice Activist; Sakshi Tanwar, TV Actor; Nandita Das, Actor, Director, Social Justice Activist; Dr. Nayreen Daruwalla, Programme Director SNEHA; Dr. Nandita Shah, Co-Director Akshara; and Pritish Nandy, Writer, Media Personality, Film Producer.
Eve Ensler said, “Violence against Women is not just a local, regional issue, but a global issue.” “It is time to rise and time for the war on women to end,” said Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal. “The rates of violence against women and girls have been rising too fast and precipitously,” she added. “The efforts to combat and eliminate violence against women and girls have been on the rise for several decades now. Don’t you think it is time to rise?” asked Kaizaad Kotwal. Enser led a small solidarity march from Jai Hind College to Churchgate Station and towards Marine Drive with the press panel members and some students.
Ms. Ensler’s experience performing THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. She has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive. ONE BILLION RISING, an event on February 14, 2013, marks the 15 anniversary of V-Day, and began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.
Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, Actor, Director, Producer (Poor-Box Productions) & Social Justice Activist said, “With this new movement and with our efforts and Ms. Ensler’s visit we intend to put India on the global map as a country that is going to take its role seriously when it comes to once and for all ending violence against women and girls.”
Kaizaad Kotwal, Actor, Director, Producer (Poor Box Productions) and Social Justice Activist, said, “ONE BILLION RISING becomes even more necessary in India given the recent series of events that have made it indubitable that India has much to do to prevent and end violence against women and girls.”
It is interesting to note is that in India, the statistic is that 1 in 2, as compared to the global statistic of every 1 in 3, women will be physically or sexually violated. So in India that makes it about 250 million women living with abuse. “That number is staggering and should awaken any human into doing something right away towards ending violence against women and girls,” concluded Kaizaad Kotwal.
Ms. Ensler’s visit also marks the celebrations of 10 Years of “THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES” in India, a play which was brought here by Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal and Kaizaad Kotwal as a way of using art to start a dialogue about ending violence against women and girls. Ten years later the play has had a huge impact in this arena, and yet has so much more left to impact.
A series of educational, informative and fund-raising events have been planned as a part of Ms. Ensler’s visit. There are a series of events planned to raise funds for SNEHA (a shelter which works towards combating and ending violence against women in Dharavi and across Mumbai’s slum areas) and give awards to some individual survivors of and warriors in the fight against this scourge of violence against females.