The Meghalaya Model United Nations, a youth organisation in Meghalaya, had organised virtual events in light of the Hathras gang-rape case of Uttar Pradesh, wherein a Dalit woman had been raped by upper caste men and whose body was thereafter cremated by the police against the family’s wishes.
A virtual candlelight protest was organised by MegMUN on October 5 which saw the participation of many youth across the North East who sent in photos of themselves holding lighted candles along with personal messages expressing solidarity with the victim’s family, demanding justice, calling for an end to the growing rape culture, condemning the incident, to name a few. These pictures were subsequently put up on the organisation’s official Instagram page (@meghalaya_mun).
A live Instagram session was also organized on October 7 in continuance with the protest and featured Manasvi Nag, the founder of a social-political enterprise called Nathi Nonsense based in Ahmedabad, and Bondita Acharya, a renowned gender rights activist from Assam who is also the Steering Committee Member of Women in Governance, Director of Purva Bharati Educational Trust, Assam.
The speakers touched on a range of topics relating to violence against women, caste, legal loopholes and the use of sexual violence in times of conflict to subjugate a community. Manasvi Nag shared her expertise on how “Inter-sectionality of Caste and Gender Affects Marginalised Communities” while Bondita Acharya elaborated on “Structural Violence and Impunity.”
MegMUN was founded in 2017 and modelled along the lines of the United Nations with the UN Sustainable Development Goals being its core objectives. Although they aim to promote dialogue and discussion among youths on issues plaguing society at all levels, they have gradually undertaken several initiatives to promote awareness, creativity and healthy competition among youths of all ages.
Through events such as these, MegMUN hopes to make the youth more aware of and active in what is happening around them, mobilising and galvanising the limitless potential of youths to bring about much-needed progressive and sustainable change in the region, in line with their 2020 theme “Local Actions for Global Impact.”