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Women take to streets to stake claim to their rights

Staff Reporter

Blank Noise Project, a blog, is now giving women a chance to make a point

NEW DELHI: It is an "acquired" trait that women in the Capital who choose to walk the streets every day have learnt to master -- blanking out lewd remarks, popular Hindi songs and the odd pinch. Ignoring eve teasing may have become second nature to most in the Capital, but a blog, Blank Noise Project, is now giving women a chance to reclaim their forgotten anger and make a point.

Started three years ago as a participatory project, Blank Noise Project -- that documents the experience of women in cities to eve teasing online -- has now become a sort of a "virtual" movement. And to transcend from the cyber world to the real one, the founders have organised events in different parts of the country to get women to come out on the streets to stake claim to their rights.

Holding its first nocturnal programme in the Capital, Blank Noise Project organised a night walk on Friday. Complete with a dress code, "Something you wanted to but couldn't", the walk was undertaken from Delhi Haat to Sarojini Nagar Market.

"The fact is that most people think it is not a big deal. It is alarming that people don't see it as a problem at all. There are now so many younger women who are coming out and the question is why women should not be able to cope with this," asked Jasmeen Patheja, founder director Blank Noise Project.

While a group of women walking around in the night to gain control of the road may not be the "done" thing in the Capital known for its being unsafe for women, it is finally time to take a stand as one participant put it.

"I have got sick of depending on family to pick me up and drop me. I want to be able to be independent. I want to be able to walk the street wearing whatever I want without worrying," said Neena, a media professional.

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