A push for women’s rights, on a train

Passengers on the Ernad Express were taken by surprise on Wednesday morning when a group of women sprang up from different sections of the general coach and started an impromptu drama session. The typical street play came alive inside the railway compartment through a novel attempt at raising awareness of issues faced by women.

The campaign titled ‘Pennorumbettal’ was organised by a women’s rights collective to commemorate the second death anniversary of Soumya, who was raped and murdered while travelling on a train.

Poetry, debates

Social activist K. Ajitha inaugurated the event. The train compartments came alive with plays, poetry readings, and debates.

The activists studied the general behaviour of passengers through some creative real-time acting, and by posing as normal travellers.

“One of us casually asked a woman why she was travelling in the general compartment when she could get into the women’s compartment. The way people around us reacted to that situation was worth noting,” says Divya Diwakaran, one of the organisers of the event.

Later, the group surprised the travellers with questions, which stirred up debates on a host of issues. The performances continued until the train reached Shoranur.

The group says their aim was to challenge the underlying patriarchy even in public spaces such as trains. They also questioned the practice of giving the tag of ‘victims’ to those who had been raped.


Published in: on February 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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