VANCOUVER: Hundreds of Indo-Canadians signed and presented a petition to the Indian consulate in Vancouver on Monday to express their outrage at the Delhi gang-rape and subsequent death of the 23-year-old victim.
“We have over 225 people who signed the petition to be forwarded the Indian prime minister to express our shame and outrage at the Delhi gangrape. We are expressing our solidarity with the family of the victim. This crime has shaken the whole world and we want stricter laws by the Indian government to punish the guilty,’’ said Lucky Gill of Global Girl Power which presented the petition.
Before presenting the petition, Global Girl Power held a candle-light vigil for the victim at Bear Creek Park in Surrey on Sunday and gathered people’s signatures for it.
“When we didn’t know her name, supporters called her Amanat (priced possession), Nirbhaya (fearless), Damini (lightening), Braveheart, a daughter, a sister and above all a human who is now asleep but woke up the whole nation, united the humanity,’’ said Global Girl Power, paying its tribute to the victim at the candle-light vigil held in freezing rain.
“Just as her name Jyoti (light), she not only lit candles but she lit hearts of millions in India and across the globe . We united together as One Family. We took a stand to show we have zero tolerance for violence against women. Together we are stronger,’’ the tribute said.
After submitting the petition to the Indian government, Lucky Gill, founder of Global Girl Power, told News East West that people from all walks of life joined in the candle-light vigil and signed the petition.
“People of Pakistani and Nepali origin also joined us as did so many local Canadians. Everybody is outraged at what happened to this young girl in Delhi. It is a heinous crime which has lit the spark globally. Women are not safe in the whole of India – whether it is Delhi or Punjab. We want India to make stricter laws to protect women,’’ the young woman leader demanded.
She said, “Crime against women is a global issue. This is happening in India, Canada and around the world. Society cannot remain in denial. Women have been devalued for generations, and this mindset has no place in the world today. The old generation may not change, but we can make a beginning by raising our children as humans – not as boys or girls. Girls should be told about their rights and the boys should be raised to respect women.’’
Lucky Gill, who has also organizing the Global Walk for Missing Girls in Canada for the past two years to raise awareness against the problem of female foeticide, also expressed outrage at the statement of the so-called spiritual guru Asaram Bapu who in his discourse on Sunday blamed the victim for the gangrape.
“Asaram Bapu’s statement is a cruel joke. What can you do when people start making this kind of outrageous statements? Also, look at what the Indian president’s son said about women protesters. This mindset cannot be tolerated,” she said angrily.
Various Indo-Canadian organizations supported the candle-light vigil.