On Savitribai Phule’s 120th death anniversary on 10 March, over 5000 women from marginalised communities will participate in the ‘Chalo Nagpur’ march, a show of solidarity against those fighting the forces of “hatred, injustice and dominance” and to raise their voices against the ever-growing attacks on minorities across the country.
A congregation of women from Telangana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar, and Andhra Pradesh will gather in the winter capital of Maharashtra.
According to the executive director of Navsarjan Trust and one of the organisers of the protest Manjula Pradeep, the march titled “Chalo Nagpur” will see participation of women leaders from Dalit communities, Radhika Vemula for instance; Muslim women leaders like Shabnam Hashmi; Elina Horo who is also part of the National Network of Adivasi women; queer women leaders like Karthik Bittu Kondaiah; differently-abled women leaders like Anita Ghai; sex workers. “The protest movement will also include women from grass roots, students from unions, and so forth,” she was quoted by the News Laundry.
The common agenda is to speak out on violence and hatred against marginalised women and specially looking at how this kind of discrimination leads to more marginalisation of women. And to also speak about how their voices are not being heard even in the larger feminist movementManjula Pradeep, Organiser of the event
The march is being organised and funded by hundreds of individual women.
The participants include those who have faced and continue to face discrimination based on their caste, class, religion, community, sexuality, gender, disability, occupation, or age. They will raise their voice against the forces of communal, Brahminical, feudal, casteist, and capitalist patriarchy, said Chaya Khobragade, a social activist.
Speaking to media Khobragade said that this was the first time such a diverse group of women was taking their protest to Nagpur, the headquarters of the RSS, which represented the “Manuvad and Hindutva” thought process.
The march drew its inspiration from the historic work and life of Savitribai Phule, India’s first woman teacher, poet, writer, and champion of women’s rights who took a stand against Brahminical and casteist patriarchy in the 19th century by educating Dalits and women, in turn exposing the hollowness of the ManusmritiChaya Khobragade
In Nagpur Dr. B.R. Ambedkar mobilised the largest ever conference of women under the banner of Scheduled Caste Federation, when 30,000 women came together to challenge patriarchy that continued to inspire women activists. That was another reason to chose the city, Khobragade added.