Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day 6: New rules learnt

Saturday morning, Day 6 of the Prajnya 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Violence 2013.

This was a day all of us at Prajnya were waiting for, mainly because we haven't done this before! A bike rally flagging off from the Marina beach was planned with 'Metal Men', who have been riding for social causes for a while now. 

Flags were brought out and the placement of stickers negotiated; water and sandwiches were distributed to keep all volunteers energetic through the rally. The shutterbugs clicked away -- and we didn't feel bad about posing for photos or delaying the rally because, yes, we were very excited.

And then: reality check. A police jeep arrived to ask us what we were up to. And that's when we realised we were mistaken in our assumption that a moving bike rally would not need police permission to assemble. We sought to rectify the situation immediately and drove over to the Commissioner's office to check if we could get permission for the rally. 

On the way to the Commissioner's office
So here's what we learnt: No, you can't hold vehicular rallies inside the city! 
Why? City traffic has grown impossible to manage. Even awareness walks are only permitted on small stretches of service lanes along Marina and Elliotts Beach in the morning hours. 

Well rules are rules, and they need to be respected. We dispersed today, but not without doing our bit to create awareness about gender violence wherever we went. Thank you, Team of Metal Men, for being absolute sports! And Prajnya volunteers and friends who spent a slightly confused Saturday morning with us, but made the best of it nonetheless!

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