Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Four Hundred Buses in Two Days

On June 21st, hundreds of schoolboys from reputed Colombo schools filed into Viharamahdevi Park. They had one aim: to make a difference in their city by taking a stand against the harassment of women in public spaces. These young men pledged to travel on the busiest bus routes in Colombo in teams of three, addressing commuters on the issue of harassment of women.

Starting Monday, June 25th, hundreds of young men boarded buses according to a previously formulated strategic plan. During the first two days of the campaign, over 400 buses in 11 bus routes were covered. The young men, apologized to women in the buses for any harassment they have encountered in the past, providing them with information on legal recourse available to them if they experience such treatment in the future. Next they charged the men to take the responsibility to safeguard this right and the negative reflection on them, if they fail. The response from the commuters on buses was astounding. Passengers on the buses, both male and female, were very responsive to the campaign. Many encouraged the efforts of the young men, asked for more information about the campaign and Sri Lanka Unites. The passengers were eager to engage in conversations regarding the issue of harassment on public transportation and were heartened by the efforts of the young men to attempt to resolve this problem in the city of Colombo.

On Monday, June 25th, the following bus routes were covered: 138, 112, 122, 125, 120. The total number of buses covered was over 100.

On Tuesday, June 26th, the following bus routes were covered: 100, 101, 102, 177, 175, 140. The total number of buses covered was approximately 300. 

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