Following pitched protests by women’s groups in Vishakapatnam, the 2017 edition of the Miss Vizag contest has been postponed by the organisers.
The beauty pageant, slated to be held on November 11, was being organised with the slogan ‘Save the girl child’. Earlier this month, the pageant organisers had roped in Andhra HRD Minister Ganta Sreenivasa Rao to release the poster for the event.
However, activists of multiple women’s groups such as the All India Democratic Womens Association (AIDWA), the Progressive Women’s Organisation (PWO), the AP Mahila Samakya and the Chaitanya Mahila Sangam (CMS) took out a protest rally on Sunday from the Greater Vizag Municipal Corporation’s offices to the Hotel Meghalaya, seeking cancellation of the event. The protesters demanded that an event that objectified women should not be held in the guise of supporting the ‘Save the girl child’ campaign.
Speaking to TNM, AIDWA Vishakapatnam Secretary RN Madhavi said, "In the name of the ‘Save the girl child’ campaign, they (the government) want to entertain multinational companies that want to make money out of women’s bodies."
"The kind of psychological effect that such programmes have on girls will itself ruin the motto of ‘Save the girl child’," she added.
Following the rally, 40 women activists were detained and later released by the Vishakapatnam police.
A few hours after the rally, the organisers of the event – Creative Plus Entertainment Network, Rays Entertainments and Dreams Events – announced that the event was being postponed due to the protests.
Speaking to TNM, Ravi Kumar D, Manager at Rays Entertainment said, “We do not want to create any disturbances. So, we have decided to postpone it.”
He added that the organisers were ready for a dialogue with the organisations had taken up the protest. “We are ready to talk with them if they come," he said.