Indo-Canadian Women’s Club is an independent club. The vision and mission of ICWC are to create and support campaigns and causes that will bring long-term, essential, innovative and positive change in the society.
Manisha Ramrakhiani – Founder and President - Indo-Canadian Women’s Club
Sign the petition Action Against Rape.
December 16th 2012, a 23-year-old girl - Jyoti Singh Pandey, was brutally beaten and raped by six men on a running bus. One of them raped her twice and removed her intestine with his bare hands, later he stripped her and threw her out of the running bus. This news shattered one of the biggest democracies in the world. Millions of people came out with rage and started an anti-rape-protest outside the parliament house of India. On December 29, 2012, Jyoti died, and I couldn’t sleep all night. I kept on asking myself “If she had known that the man on the bus whom she was trusting will beat and rape her with five other men, would she have stepped inside the bus?” "What was her fault?' "Her fault was that she trusted mankind?" "Her fault was she trusted in humanity, or her fault was that she believed in a stranger?" "Will I ever trust anyone, even if I am in trouble?" "Will I trust any stranger in the future?"
For me this incident in itself was a big question to the humanity.
The next morning, I started reading more about India Gang Rape and other similar incidents happening in India, and what I read was devastating. After 16th December, within 10 days only, 20 more rape cases were registered in different parts of India, from which one of the victims was a 10-year-old girl who was later killed and thrown into a canal.
On the one hand, the government of India was starting a 24-hour help line and providing compensation to Jyoti’s family, and on the other hand, there was no mention about other rape victims. I couldn’t stop thinking about the anti-rape-protest and kept on questioning the outcome of this protest.
Is this protest like a can of soda that has busted out of rage, and will cool down as soon as six men are punished? Was this protest carried on to bring justice to one victim? The answer was NO.
However, ferocious and inhuman behavior towards women in India does not stop here: Aborting a girl child, killing the girl child after she is born, dowry, prostitution, street vandalism, and physical and psychological abuse of wives, daughters, sisters and mothers has been going on for generations.
On the one end, a woman is called a Devi (goddesses), and on the other she is stripped and stigmatized every day.
Violent and illegal incidents happening with girls and women of India raise a lot of questions towards the constitutional and judicial system of India. There are rules, but never followed. There are laws that can be broken. There is a system, but can be easily bribed and manipulated. Are these the reasons that have given liberty to people to commit the crime, or are it because they know that no matter what crime, they commit nothing will happen?
It is time to question the women's rights; it is time to question the system, and it is time to bring fundamental changes to stop the overall degrading and the abusing attitude toward women in India.
For me, the protest is not about opening a 24-hour helpline, or bringing justice to Jyoti and her family. It is about bringing change that will not only bring justice to this one case, but also to more than 25,000 pending rape and women abuse cases in India. This protest is about bringing long-term changes in the law and order and educational system of India.
It is time that we educate our future generation, especially women and bring awareness to change the overall concept of degrading women in Indian society.
On 31st December, 2012, I started the petition Action Against Rape with the new year’s resolution that I will not rest until the whole world joins me to ask the government of India to:
• bring long-term changes in the educational and law system of India
• reinforce the environment that is safe
• educates and motivates the general public, especially the future generation to practice equality and respect
• develop a support system for the past victims to help them live their lives with dignity
As this is the only way to restore our trust in humanity.
We mourn for the family who has lost a daughter. We mourn for other survivors and their families...faceless, voiceless, silenced, and in pain. However, now it is time that we are heard, and we will be heard!
Sign the petition Action Against Rape and ask Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, to bring about immediate change! Ask him to develop a support system and bring long-term changes in the judicial, social and educational systems of India to protect an India woman’s fundamental human rights. We ask that you add your suggestions and comments at our petition site to help bring about positive and long-term changes for the women of India.
We ask that you lend your support with a simple signature. Your voice is needed now! Together in numbers we CAN effect change. You can also visit our website to read related articles and news stories. www.icwc.ca