As part of its efforts towards women empowerment and sensitising people on increasing violence against women, the Kerala Women and Child Development Department will conduct a night walk for women on December 29. The walk will be held from 11 am to 1 am across 100 different locations in the state. According to state health minister KK Shylaja, the purpose of the night walk is to convey the message that public spaces are for women too.
"There are two main objectives behind the night walk. Women go out in the middle of the night and are in a state of mental anguish and fear. Our first aim is to remove them. Some people, that form a minor part in society, come out to harass women if they see them at night... The second is to alert the police as soon as possible and take action against such people. Similar night walks will be held again by volunteers in over 100 places without notice after the first event," Shylaja said.
KK Shylaja asserted that such a programme is intended to evoke a strong public consciousness about increasing violence against women, strengthen the existing policing system and reclaim public spaces that are alien to women.
Under this programme, each centre will have 25 volunteers. The District Women and Child Development Officer will chair the coordination committee constituted in all districts while the concerned municipal official will work as the president. The committee will consist of Residents Association, Janamaithri Police, Kudumbasree and representatives of various organisations.
The night walk is being organised as a group consisting of one, two or three members. To ensure that women receive help and reach, volunteers will be deployed at a distance of 200 metres. Janamaithri Police will also undertake crime scene mapping before selecting locations for the night walk. The street lighting required in these areas will also be made available.
(With ANI inputs)