Cycling to end gender bias and violence

Cycling to end gender bias and violence
Highlights

Cycling to end gender bias and violence.Dressed in red and black cycle gear, 40-year-old Rakesh Kumar Singh, a cycling enthusiast from Bihar, has come up with an initiative, ‘Ride for Gender Freedom’, for spreading awareness on gender inequality and gender based violence.

Rakesh Kumar Singh holding up the Ride for Gender Freedom flagRakesh Kumar Singh started off on a cycle with just a few pictures and a video projector – which he uses for campaigning - from Chennai on March 15 and hopes to change the mindset of people along the way to New Delhi

Dressed in red and black cycle gear, 40-year-old Rakesh Kumar Singh, a cycling enthusiast from Bihar, has come up with an initiative, ‘Ride for Gender Freedom’, for spreading awareness on gender inequality and gender based violence. Rakesh, who had earlier worked as media urban researcher at Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi, for ten years and corporate communication manager in an MNC, has quit his profession.

He has undertaken a journey from Chennai on March 15 and plans to reach New Delhi by March 15, 2017. Rakesh reached the city on Wednesday. The father of a ten-year-old, who has set off equipped with just a video projector, a puppet and drawings to create awareness among the people, hopes that his campaign will change the mindset of quite a few people.

On why he started off on the journey, Rakesh said that the idea came to him while he was working with the acid victims. “Taking victims to the hospital and providing adequate medicare was not sufficient. Gender based violence happens everywhere and people think the government should implement stringent laws to make sure that this does not happen. I realised that there was a need for voicing out about the gender inequalities prevalent in the society.”

“The attitude of parents on having a girl child should change. In the course of my journey I have met more than 80,000 people of various cultures and customs and noticed that women in south India are more likely to participate in social activities than north Indian women,” he said.Elaborating about his journey, Rakesh said, “As of now I am riding alone.

I started cycling from last year March and I covered more than 5,000 kilometres, having travelled through Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. I ride more than 60-80 kilometres a day and even more depending upon the climatic conditions and my strength. A few riders may join from other places in between the trip.

It depends on their availability and their interest in joining the cause. It is an open journey, people are free to join.” His page ‘Ride for Gender Freedom’ has more than 1,700 followers. Those who wish to support his initiative can login on to http://genderfreedom.in.

By Sistla Dakshina Murthy

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