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Lucknow: A new variety of mango, harvested at Uttar Pradesh’s famous mango centre Malihabad, has been named Nirbhaya after the 23-year-old Delhi girl who was brutally gang-raped December 16 last year and died of her injuries two weeks later.
The new variety, its grower Kaleemullah Khan said, was his way of honouring the bravery and spirit of the young physiotherapist, whose rape and death galvanised the entire nation.
Khan, who has been awarded with a Padma Shri, said he had planted the tree three years ago and was surprised that it bore fruit in such a short span. This year, he added, the mangoes were ‘slightly small’ but the next harvest would be hopefully be normal.
Khan, 57, is a venerated mango grower and has his name registered in the Limca Book of World Records for growing 300 varieties of mangoes on a single tree. In 1999, he grew 54 varieties of mangoes on a single tree and gifted the tree to the president. This tree still finds place in the Mughal Gardens at the sprawling Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. In the past, Khan has named new mango varieties after celebrities like actresses Aishwarya Rai and Nargis, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Artist uses canvas to plead for restoring woman’s dignity : Meanwhile, the trauma of victims of brutal gangrape and acid attack respectively in Delhi and Chennai shook artist N Swarnalatha to the core, so much so that she began transferring her pain on to the canvas in an act of personal catharsis.
Titled ‘Nirbhaya’, a painting exhibition capturing the physical, emotional, and psychological trauma of suffering women, of late, and making a fervent plea to the society “to treat us women as humans” opened up here recently.
“Last year I had come to Delhi to spend my holidays with my family. But right after December 16, I saw people marching to India Gate and holding candle-lit vigils for the gangrape victim. And, it all jolted me inside, more so as an artist,” says N Sawarnalatha.
“When I went back to Chennai I started having sleepless nights, thinking about the pain this Delhi girl must have gone through from the incident till her death. And, then these acid incidents took place with ‘Vinodhini’ and ‘Vidya’ in Tamil Nadu. So, I chose my canvas to register my protest as also to find catharsis for my own self as the pain became unbearable,” Swarnalatha told said in an interview.
For this 40-year-old Chennai-based artist, the exhibition is also an emotional plea to restore the dignity that god has blessed women with as mothers, sisters, wives, daughters among other roles.
“We are only the mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and mother-in-laws for men and the society and large. Then how can you treat us in such brutal and disrespectful ways. I only make a plea to them to treat us women as humans,” she added. (Agencies)