Thiruvananthapuram: In a first, over 35,00,000 women stood shoulder-to-shoulder across the national highways in Kerala, creating a 620-km-long human wall from the northern end of Kasaragod to the southern tip here on Tuesday as part of a state-sponsored initiative to uphold gender equality. The event comes days after thousands of devotees lit Ayyappa Jyothis (lighting of sacred lamps) and lined up from Hosangadi in Kasaragod to Kanyakumari, vowing to protect the age-old customs and traditions of Sabarimala.
On Tuesday, women from various walks of life - writers, athletes, actors, politicians and techies, government officials and homemakers - stood across highways crisscrossing through the 14 districts as the event commenced at 4 pm. Expressing solidarity, thousands of men also lined up parallel forming a second human wall.
The Women’s wall was conceived in the backdrop of frenzied protests witnessed in the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala after the CPI(M)-led LDF government decided to implement the Supreme Court verdict, allowing all women to pray at the Ayyappa shrine. Representatives of Universal Record Forum (URF) which records amazing feats across the globe declared the human wall as the “longest women’s wall in the world” with participation of over 35,00,000 women. However, CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan claimed 55,00,000 women lined up for the ‘wall’.