The theme for International Women’s Day 2013 in Torpa (India) was Trafficking of Women. Around 2,000 women from around Torpa and Rania participated in this event. Two hundred women from very interior villages came to our Center for Women Development (CWD) the previous evening and stayed overnight. Others arrived at around 9am at the place where our rally would begin, about two kilometers away from the CWD. During the rally we shouted slogans and sang awareness songs. The police was very cooperative. The main road was blocked for more than half an hour, stopping all traffic on both sides. When the rally reached the main gate of CWD, the women of Konkya village welcomed the rally with a traditional dance.
The program, which began at 11am, was inaugurated by the District Collector who, along with other dignitaries, lighted the inaugural lamp. Ms Jyostna, an activist and main resource person, led a very interactive discussion on the roots and the effects of trafficking, the impact trafficking has on the girls, and the chain of agents who are involved in trafficking. She also spoke about the provisions made for women in laws and the facilities to live a dignified life made available for women by the government. She also gave very alarming data about the local situation of trafficking. All dignitaries, too, emphasized women’s potential and women’s very important contribution to society. In between the speeches our women sang awareness songs, danced and enacted street plays.
The program ended at 1:30pm with a meal for all. Even after the program was over, many women danced to their heart’s content and one could see “a free woman” on every woman’s face.
Daphne Sequeira, rscj
Province of India