New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) DCW Chairperson Swati Maliwal on Sunday ended her nine-day fast, after President Ram Nath Kovind approved an ordinance to provide the death penalty to those convicted of raping girls below 12 years, calling it a “historic win”.
“I didn’t expect that our protest will take such a large shape. It is a historic win for all of us who have been demanding stringent law to punish convicted rapists,” a visibly frail Maliwal said at a press conference organised at Raj Ghat here.
“I welcome the law and end my fast here,” the 33-year-old Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) told the media.
According to a DCW member, Maliwal, who was having only water during her hunger strike, said she had lost around seven kilos in nine days. As per medical reports shared by the women’s body, her sugar level and blood pressure remained unaffected while she continued her hunger strike.
“Due to my health condition, doctors have advised me to stay in hospital for some days. I will resume work soon and will ensure that our efforts don’t go in vain,” she added.
Maliwal went on an indefinite hunger strike at the Raj Ghat and refused to break it despite failing health and requests from many till the government acted seriously against those who sexually assault young girls.
“People ridiculed me when I decided to go on hunger strike. But today I can say that a woman can achieve anything. I thank each and everyone for supporting our battle,” she added.
Maliwal began her fast following the widely condemned rape and murder of an eight-year-old in Jammu and Kashmir in January and similar crimes elsewhere in the country.
“We had sent more than five lakh letters to our Prime Minister that were received by DCW but no action was taken. Finally, I had to take the step of going on fast. Our demands were so strong that the government had to bend and immediately take action to implement the new law,” Maliwal said.
On Sunday, the President promulgated The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, which was approved by the cabinet on Saturday.
“But this is not the end of our fight, this is just the beginning. We have a long way to go. If the government doesn’t implement the law within three months as promised, then I will again start my protest,” she added.