Saturday, February 11, 2006

Araba: The story of a village head

The Bike Rally under the 'Aapni Dikri Ro Hak' campaign created ripples throughout its passage. Rallyists, riding on their bikes, raised slogans in unison. Wherever they met population, they distributed the campaign material in the form of comics posters and booklets.

At various stopovers, activists spoke to people about this campaign. At these places, a number of village elders were involved. They also addressed the gathering and spoke in favour of the Girl Child. It was a massive mobilisation that could be achieved only because people understood and agreed to participate.

Since there was no fund raising for this campaign, we relied on people's help. In pitching of tents. In arranging food. In disseminating information.

The rally was half way, when we reached the village of Araba. The village head, Umed Singh Ji had arranged a meeting in a school. After the gathering, we were invited for lunch. A number of volunteers had joined us enroute and as a result the food packets fell short. Some of us went hungry but that didn't matter. What mattered was the spirit.

It is because of people like Umed Singh Ji, Kishan Ji and other residents of Araba that this rally could achieve its goal. We don't claim any revolution but the spark has been sown. People are talking about it. The debate is on. Something is pinching them in their minds.

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