As a part of One Billion Rising Campaign, which creates awareness about violence on women, Shangumugham beach was witness to a gathering of women and girls at 6 pm on Thursday. One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls. College student Amrutha Mohan led a bike rally. And on a day that saw a celebration & declaration for women all over to stand up for themselves, an incident occurred later that day that solidified that event.
At 10:30 pm at night in Kerala’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, the four men who accosted a group of women to pass lewd comments about them must have thought they would get home scot free. Unfortunately, they didn’t gamble on one aspect, one of the women Amrita happened to be a trained practitioner of ancient martial art Kalaripayayuttu. Amruta described how she had gone out for snack to a local eatery with her parents and some family friends when a government vehicle stopped near them and the four men inside the vehicle made some comments about the women present there. Since her father and his friend had stepped away to get food, a bold Amruta confronted them and after a brief exchange of words the vehicle sped away leaving her shouting after them to return and face her if they had courage. After some time the men in the vehicle reportedly returned and got into a scuffle with Amruta’s father at which point it became too much for the martial arts expert and she stepped in and took on the men, in the manner she knew best.
It was only when she took on the men that others present there came to assist them, Amruta said. On the basis of her complaint, one Manoj, 32, a Nedumangad resident, was nabbed and presented before the court. Though there were reports that the abusers were travelling in a government department car, police are yet to confirm it. On a day when the ‘One Billion Rising’ campaign sought to highlight the plight of women in India and improve their condition, Amruta perhaps stands out for her courage and standing up for herself. From her childhood itself, Amrutha has been learning Kalaripayattu and Karate. She is also a passionate bike rider and had used the Harley Davidson owned by her uncle for some time and now owns a Bajaj Avenger.