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Feb 15, 2013 at 06:55am IST

One Billion Rising: Men, women dance, sing to wake up nation against sexual violence

New Delhi: Crossing their arms, shuffling their feet and singing "Wake up Delhi! End violence against women!", hundreds of people took part in flash mobs across Delhi to mark the global 'One Billion Rising' campaign on Thursday. The young men and women on Valentine's Day gave a collective performance near Jantar Mantar, where thousands had gathered in December to protest against the brutal gangrape and death of a 23-year-old girl.

Hundreds of women politicians and activists have supported the initiative and many students participated in the flash mob dancing to the song "Jaago Dilli jaago!" (Wake up Delhi!), said Padmini Krishnan, one of the organisers. A flash mob is an impromptu gathering of people at a public place to perform an unusual song or a jig for a brief time and disperse, to raise an issue.

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The 'One Billion Rising' campaign aims to gather people from all walks of life to pledge their commitment to ending violence against girls and women, said college student Megha Mishra, who took part in a flash mob. "I'm rising because I could have been one of those woman, who was battered, sexually abused. I'm rising because I'm a woman, aware of the potential of women and want to show the world I care and dare," wrote Christy Abraham of NGO Action Aid on the campaign's Facebook page.

One Billion Rising: Women dance, sing to protest sexual violence

The next leg of the One Billion Rising event will take place on March 8 to mark Women's Day.

Similar flash mobs gathered in the National Capital Region, with street plays and dance dramas. The next such event would take place March 8 to mark Women's Day, Kamla Bhasin, the campaign's south Asia coordinator, said. About 200 countries are participating in the campaign. An estimate by the United Nations Development Fund for Women shows that at least one of every three women in the world is beaten, raped, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. In most cases, the abuser is a family member.

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