In the Modern era we live in, India has a lot of opportunities to offer the Indian woman along with having a voice in everyday life. But unfortunately, safety of women in India is still a huge area for concern.
There are many cases of violent crime against women who are returning from work, or are out doing chores for their home, a major chunk of these being rape. According to an analysis by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), 57 rape cases were reported every day in the last 13 years (almost 1 rape every half-an-hour). Newspapers regularly carry depressing tales of sexual assaults on women. Such horrendous acts of crime happen almost everyday without guilt or remorse.
The brutal rape of an innocent 23-year-old student in the capital of our country, Delhi was the tipping point that sparked protests from all corners of India.
One of these protests came in the form of a comic “superhero” and rape-victim named Priya and the goddess Parvati, who combined forces to fight against the tyranny of her sex offenders. According to one of the creator of this comic series, Ram Devineni, the idea came to him when he realized that “rape and sexual violence in India is a cultural issue, and it is backed by patriarchy, misogyny and people’s perceptions.”
Priya represents most middle-to-low class women of India. Just like them, she too had aspirations of her own, to be a teacher. But her family forbid her from going to school, and forced her to stay home to cook and clean. As she grows up, she constantly faces sexual violence till one day, she is raped. When she tells her parents about this incident, she is blamed for it all and eventually, banished from her home. Goddess Parvati is horrified to see what women have to endure on a daily basis. So she inspires Priya to take a stand for all women being mistreated. Priya returns atop a tiger to vanquish her enemies and spread the gospel of gender equality.
The first edition turned out to be a huge success with over 5 lakh downloads and was honoured by UN as a “gender equality champion”. Following their initial success, they came out with a second edition called “Priya’s Mirror”, funded by World Bank’s WEvolve initiative.
In this, Priya holds the mirror up to the acid attack survivors to show them how they are more than just the scars inflicted upon them by sadistic men. The third edition is coming out soon called “Priya and the lost girls”, and this one is about sex trafficking.
This comic series is exactly what our country needs, a superhero who stands for women empowerment. I believe that change is distant, but it’s coming soon. With more such content coming out to support the “strong and independent” woman, it’s not long when women will be recognized as true superheroes of the world.
We at Stop Commotion give Priya’s Shakti and all its creators our full support. Do check out their website ( http://www.priyashakti.com ) and give them your best regards. Cheers.