ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Take Back the City

The “Why Loiter?” campaign attempts to take over a small part of public space so that women, like all others, can seek fun and pleasure in the streets of a vibrant urbanscape.

Sometimes movements start in the most ordinary of ways. A girl reads a book recommended by a friend. It inspires her to go sit in a park. The next weekend, another woman joins her on the grass. Then, a few more. The following week, a group of young women take a long meandering bicycle ride through the city. Subsequently, eight women take over what till then was an all-male chai tapri (shanty tea stall). Then they take a walk through the city in the middle of the night.

No banners, no protest marches, no shouting slogans – just a small but growing group of women in Mumbai, led by Neha Singh and Devina Kapoor, who for the last six months are slowly but surely making a claim to the city’s streets, pavements, nukkads (street corners), promenades and parks.

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