Ride for Gender Freedom Tambaram – Wrap Up

Today, on 19th March 2014, Bharathi Kannan, a filmmaker, had organised four meetings in Tambaram for the Ride for Gender Freedom campaign. Rakesh rode via East Coast Road, Kalaignar Salai, Shozhinganallur, and Medavakkam to Tambaram. He lost his way for three kilometres, but eventually found Madras Christian College by 9:30 a.m. There he had some valuable conversations with NSS, English department, and Social Work department students. Some students have expressed their interest in joining the ride when it reaches their home towns and a professor saw the possibility of making the ride an internship project. After two meetings and some conversations in the canteen, Rakesh rode to West Tambaram and had an open conversation with the women and young girls and boys from that locality. Later, Bharathi Kannan joined him as a rider and both of them rode around Tambaram for an hour or so before stopping for tea. Rakesh had planned a trip back to the East Coast Road, but it has been a really long day. So, Bharathi has kindly invited Rakesh to stay at his place for the night. Thank you Bharathi for all the help today. We hope to see the cycle back on the beaches tomorrow.

Rakesh will be thrilled if you join him for a small or a big part of his journey. To coordinate with the rider follow the Ride for Gender Freedom on this blog or this facebook page.

Good night.

Ride for Gender Freedom around Tambaram

06:50 a.m. Today, on 19th March 2014, the Ride for Gender Freedom first heads towards Madras Christian College, in Tambaram, Chennai. Bharathi Kannan, a filmmaker and alumnus of MCC, has arranged for an interaction with college students and staff from 9:30 a.m to 10.30 a.m. After the interaction, Rakesh will be accompanied by Bharathi Kannan and a couple of students from Madras Christian College. They will cycle around Tambaram locality, through the in-roads. Call 08939592991 to coordinate with the rider.

Survey among Women Workers in the IT Industry on Gender Sensitivity and Women Empowerment

The IT industry has broken many traditional characteristics of relationships between employees & employer. It provides handsome salaries and a sort of flexible work time/location. Women too enjoy more rights than in other industries.Yet, due to less gender sensitivity in this industry women continue to face challenges in their work life balance. Save Tamils Movement, a collective of IT and other professionals from Chennai, is conducting a survey among women workers in the IT industry to understand the ground reality of their day to day life. 

Friends from other industries are please requested to share this far and wide. (Participate in the survey here – itsurvey.in)

Ride for Gender Freedom on ECR

(Join the ride on Facebook)

“Riding upon a dream. A dream of a society that does not discriminate among various gender.”

Today, on 18th March 2014, Rakesh continues the Ride for Gender Freedom, accompanied by Sudharshan, beginning at 3:30 p.m. from Neelankarai Police Station -> Tiruvanmiyur Vegetable Market -> Tiruvanmiyur temple tank -> Tiruvanmiyur fish market -> Tiruvanmiyur kuppam (fishing village) -> Fourth Seaward Road Beach -> New Beach Road -> Kottivakkam Kuppam Road -> Palavakkam beach -> Chinna Neelangarai Kuppam -> Casuarina Drive (a CCTV trip) -> Neelankarai Kuppam -> Blue Beach Road -> Vettuvankeni ECR -> Cholamandal -> Injambakkam Kuppam -> via ECR back to Neelankarai Police Station.

We’d be very happy if you join us at the Fourth Seaward Road beach by 4.30 p.m. Call 09962609709 or 08939592991 to contact the riders. 

Live blogging of the ride will happen on Chai Kadai and Ride for Gender Freedom Facebook Page

Rakesh and Sudharshan forced to pose with coffee as they get ready for today's Ride for Gender Freedom around ECR

Rakesh and Sudharshan forced to pose with coffee as they get ready for today’s Ride for Gender Freedom around ECR

The idea behind ‘Ride for Gender Freedom: Pedalling against acid attacks’:

The list of acid attacks survivors is long and more names are being added continuously. What we have understood at the ‘Stop Acid Attacks’ campaign is that the problem is deeper than the easy availability of a chemical weapon like acid. It has to do with the parenting and upbringing, and other institutions and structures, which generally encourage children to treat women as objects. 

It is this attitude which is responsible for many crimes against women- from female infanticide to dowry deaths and from rapes to acid attacks – that go on unabated across the country.

While the information space, including TV, radio and print medium, are abuzz with pro-feminist voices, screaming out the need to stop the rising abuse of women across the sub-continent, there is hardly any ground work that is being done towards this issue.

This is an effort to take this cause to villages and towns, at present solely manifested by Rakesh Kumar Singh, an eminent Hindi author, journalist, creative writer and a formal corporate communication professional. He intends to convey this message through various media forms including puppets, colors, posters, photographs, films to the masses in Indian villages which has not yet migrated to urban towns. While there is no fixed time for his pedalling, he will be on wheels for 2 years in the first phase of his ride. This journey’s worth, impact and duration depend on you to a large extent.

While Rakesh starts his ride as a lonely crusader, he will be elated if you join him for a small or a big part of his journey. There are no plans regarding the time-limit of this ride which is completely crowd-funded.

The Ride for Gender Freedom was flagged of by Kanmanipriya, a 40 year old acid victim, who was forced to drink acid, by her husband 10 years back. She is presently staying with her ailing mother and a son, awaiting some miracle to happen so that she could live her remaining life without any pain.

Your participation will certainly be a great support to the on-going struggle against gender based violence, including the heinous Acid Attacks on women.