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Running away from home gave me courage: Mallika Sherawat

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 10 : Taking yet another stand to empower women of all ages, actress Mallika Sherawat on Tuesday recalled how eloping from home gave her courage in life after facing "innumerable hardships" in a "patriarchal family."

Mallika, who has spoken about women empowerment at various international platforms including the 65th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference in 2014, spoke about her struggle days on Twitter as she hailed the Supreme Court's decision to dismiss review pleas filed by three of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case.

The actress said that the rape victim that finally been "delivered justice."

"Six years after she was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus in the capital city of India, we finally laid her memory to rest. She had worked hard to free herself from the shackles of roles that society often slots for its women," Mallika wrote.

The judgment came in response to a review petition filed by three death row convicts - Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, and Pawan Gupta- against the Supreme Court order of May 2017, which said that Nirbhaya's rapists and killers should be hanged.

The girl, who succumbed to her injuries 13 days after the incident, was named Nirbhaya, meaning fearless, by a section of the media.

Mallika, 41, who hails from a small village in Hisar district of Haryana, later went on to spill her side - how she managed to take a stand for herself.

"For me it was running away from my home that gave me courage. Stifled in a patriarchal family, I neither had freedom nor choice. I faced innumerable hardships because I dared to question and challenge the status quo. When I got a choice, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. And, I survived," Mallika wrote.

"Today I stand on my own two feet and I decide how I live my life. It's not easy. I have been called enough names and treated in myriad ways. But as I travel across India and the world, I realize it's not easy for too many of us. Buried under societal pressure, scared of the consequences, subjugated and constantly violated are millions of women and girls who want to be free," she added.
Mallika now wishes to work towards ending the subjugation.

"I want to help make them free. Every young girl, every woman has dreams. Every woman who is empowered can empower another. We can, each one of us, free one another. I want to free every girl from fear. Let there be no one who fears becoming another victim. Let us fight to create a society where women live with pride and not with worry. Let us battle the odds to build a world where girls and women live unshackled," she said.

Mallika, who has appeared in a mix of Bollywood and Hollywood movies like 'Murder', 'Hisss', 'The Myth' and 'Politics of Love', concluded her note saying, "Free a girl. Free every girl."

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