Bhubaneswar, Jan 11 (IANS) In the wake of last month's gang-rape of a woman in New Delhi and a spurt in similar cases in Odisha, hundreds of men and women in in the state Friday launched a campaign, pledging to prevent violence against women.
Odisha Governor M.C. Bhandare was the first to sign on a cloth during the campaign by the Theosophical Order of Service, Mahabharat Group, a philanthropic organisation devoted to the promotion of universal brotherhood.
People from different walks of life including teachers, bureaucrats and students were among those who participated in the campaign called 'Change the Mindset to Stop Violence Against Women'.
The governor also held a lit candle with others to mourn the death of victims of gang-rapes, including for the 23-year-old woman who was brutally raped by six men in a moving bus in south Delhi Dec 16. She died Dec 29 in a Singapore hospital.
Bhandare also administered oaths to participants that this year they will treat every woman with respect, honour and dignity and will not discriminate against women at home and at workplaces.
"As part of this endeavour we will create awareness among different sections of people," Deepa Padhi, state unit secretary of the Mahabharat Group, told IANS.
"Initially we have decided to work in 10 slums in the state capital Bhubaneswar where we will educate people on the importance of gender equality and work for the removal of stigmas attached to victims of domestic violence through street plays, documentary films, posters and banners," she said.
"We have also planned to provide pre- and post-marital counselling," she added.