One of the most critical but unaddressed issues in Srilanka is violence against women in public transportation systems. So the youth committee of FPASL decided to do a two day campaign to empower the women and men to speak out against this.
According to the sentence 345 of the penal code the offender of such an activity will be sentenced for five years. So we got the support of the children and women’s bureau of Srilanka police and the association of private buses in Srilanka and selected four main bus roots in greater Colombo. We designed a new sticker to be put up in buses and in there we requested them to ring the bell of the bus if they experience or witness and abusing activity. Also there are two telephone numbers mentioned in the sticker so that anyone could call and complain to the police and then they could take immediate action. We also gave caps to the drivers and conductors to wear with a slogan empowering women, which all most all the drivers and conductors accepted happily.
It took a long time than we expected to proceed with our project due to legal and technical barriers but somehow with the immense support and dedication of the committee members we finally completed the project.
30 enthusiastic youth members divided themselves into groups and got into buses and spoke about the sticker the actions they could take against sexual violence .Different groups conveyed the message in different ways. One group spoke about it, another group used disruptive theatre and another group conveyed the message through a song and most of the people were interested on the project. Most of them saved the contact numbers in the stickers to their mobile phones some even gave their ideas and suggestions to improve the project.
The team was exhausted because of the heat and the traffic but still they all continued the project for two successful days with a team spirit and made the project truly successful. We could reach more than the amount we targeted. This made all of us feel happy and victorious. All the teams had to face difficulties when they were doing the project because not all drivers, conductors and people treated them well but YES we did it. Now it’s time to promote this legal procedure individually and put it into practice in order to reduce Violence against women.
SPEAK OUT, STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN