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     Rising to the occasion - One Billion Rising

Chandigarh, January 17 2013

When they take up crying social issues in their hands, when they urge people from all walks of life to join hands in unison, and when their hearts sparkle with a hope for change so fervent, a change does furnish. Bringing to light the fact that, "one in every three women on the planet is physically or sexually violated in her lifetime", is the "One Billion Rising" campaign - a global campaign started by American playwright, activist and feminist Eve Ensler - known for her play "The Vagina Monologues".

A baby in its early stages, the Chandigarh chapter of "One Billion Rising" is being nurtured by some zealous students of the Punjab Engineering College ( PEC), who are determined to make a difference in the way society looks at and treats its women.

The change makers in this brigade include Eesha Devgan, Manchitvan Jauhal, Eeshu Sharma, Dilnaz Malik, Karanbir Singh and Swati Vats, who have been giving a clarion call to the people of the city to come together in an act of solidarity to demonstrate how the efforts of each individual can help halt the atrocities from happening.

Organizer of the Chandigarh chapter Eesha Devgan, who is in her final year of engineering, says one of their recent efforts would take shape in form of an event they would hold on February 14. "We will highlight the trauma women face, be it physical, mental or sexual. We want the people to understand that it is better to prevent a problem than trying to figure out a solution when things have gone wrong," she adds.

"One Billion Rising-Chandigarh" aims to spread their message through an array of activities like theme-based flash mobs, street plays, gig by bands and musicians and talks by local politicians.

Eeshu Sharma, an engineering student and a co-organizer in the group, says, "This endeavor of ours is a symbolic step to celebrate the importance of women and making it a point that women get their due respect and are treated at par with men. It is a wholesome undertaking as we invite students from other colleges and people from all backgrounds to participate in our events."

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