Tuesday, 10 May 2011

2nd Successful Flash Mob on Delhi Metro

Donald Graham, Intern and writer at the Centre for Social Research
As Delhi commuters rushed home on Friday, eager to start their weekends, many were faced with what will hopefully be an increasingly common sight on the Metro: Lines of yellow t shirts, lines of people making a stand for respect.

On Friday the 6th of May Delhi Metro saw the 2nd ‘flash mob’ organised by ‘Mend the Gap’, a group of volunteers brought together to fight harassment on the Metro and promote gender equality in public spaces.
The movement was started by a small group of determined individuals who, after being stared at and harassed and seeing their friends being molested, decided that it was time for people to learn to respect their fellow passengers, share spaces and not just ‘mind the gap’ but ‘mend the gap’.

This was the 2nd in what will hopefully be a long series of ‘flash mobs’ to bring the problem to wider attention and push for change. Over 40 agents donned yellow t shirts with colourful slogans such as ‘Real Men Respect Women’ and ‘Share Don’t Stare’ before lining up for thousands of passengers to see at Rajiv Chowk, Yamuna Bank and other Blue Line stations. Many passengers asked questions, took photos on their camera phones and expressed support for the initiative.
The non-violent protest brings the issue of public safety and women’s spaces to the attention of thousands of commuters. With more and more women living independent lives and working away from home, many face uncomfortable journeys around the city as they commute. Simply getting home after work should not be an added trial at the end of a long day. Men should be able to share public spaces with women without subjecting them to stares, groping, harassment and assault.
As these volunteers continue to work for a safer, more comfortable Metro for everyone, we must all also work to ensure that Delhi is a safe city where everyone can work, travel, play and live their lives without fear.

To find out more about the protest, check out these blog posts at Being Abhi and Bell Bajao.
Also be sure to ‘Like’ Mend the Gap on Facebook so you can find out where and when the next flash mob will be. Together, with more people getting involved, we can all help make the Delhi Metro safer for everyone.


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