Aawaz - an attempt to create awareness against atrocities on women

Releasing this June, 'Aawaz - speak up against sexual violation' is a music project aimed at generating awareness about violence towards women.

On 16 December 2012, a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was brutally beaten and gang raped in Delhi while she was traveling in a bus with her male companion. India stood up as a nation to condemn the horrific act and screamed to see that six men accused of the brutal rape were meted out due punishment. The media frenzy over the incident covered rallies and protests across the nation, which initially seemed promising.

Pratik Nalawade in Aawaz - speak up against sexual violation
Pratik Nalawade in Aawaz - speak up against sexual violation
There were talks about chemical castration, fast track courts and reforms in rape laws to ensure safety of
women in the country. A noted political leader even conducted a silent march in memory of the unfortunate gang rape victim who succumbed to her internal injuries on 29 December 2012.

In no time, the frenzy died down and spot fixing scams and celebrity arrests took over the national media. People who protested the horrific incident waited in anticipation, much like the victim's family - hoping to see the guilty being punished.

Meanwhile in a parallel India, regional media (and occasionally national media) kept reporting about horrific rape incidents on women of all ages, across the nation. Let's not forget the footage where cops were seen beating a woman for protesting against misdemeanor towards her.

'It is not a time to keep quiet', rose a unanimous thought amongst a group of young adults in Bangalore. 'Aawaz - speak up against sexual violence' is the outcome of that rage, that frustration and that hopelessness, felt while waiting for the law makers and the government to do their jobs. The song is written by Assamese musician Jim Ankan Deka and Ritwika Bhattacharya is an outcry to invoke the nation once again to remind them of the Delhi gang rape incident and many other similar incidents that our country witnesses.

The people associated with this music project are striving to engage people to foster societal reforms, and generate awareness about the laws made to protect women in our country. Aawaz is an attempt to reignite that collective voice and persistently scream to make India a safe haven for women.

- by Parmita Borah

Recorded at Eastern Fare Studio, Madcat Music Studio, Sargam Audiocraft and Centerstage, Antara Nandy (Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Little Champs 2009 Finalist), Queen Hazarika (noted vocalist from Assam) and Ritwika Bhattacharya (song writer) have rendered their voices to the song. The song is composed by Jim Ankan Deka.

People associated with the project in various departments include -

Parmita Borah (direction, production, camera),
Vicky Mahanta, Pankaj Rajkhowa and Pratik Nalawade (music),
Mohd Siraj Mahagavin (animation)
Antara Barua and Rachel Rose Oommen (artists)
Pruthvi, Atlanta, Priyanka, Monibha, Partha, Rahul (production assitant), and
Shasanka Gogoi, Anoop Guha, and Vikramjit Kakati (camera).

- by Team EFNI