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An Australian song for India's rape victims

Protesters in Amritsar hold placards during a demonstration seeking for justice for the rape case of a 27-year-old from Hyderabad

‘That Girl’ was borne out of news of rape and murder in India and is produced in Australia. The song will be released on December 7.

As the horrific news of the veterinarian doctor Priyanka Reddy's rape and murder by burning in India’s southern city of Hyderabad came to the fore over the weekend, an Australian musician pays a musical tribute to all women brutalised in one way or another.  

Sarah Mandie, a Melbourne-based singer and songwriter has collaborated with several organisations in Victoria for a community project that aims to empower women, ensure their safety and curb gender-based violence.  

This project is timed with the ongoing United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence that runs from November 25 till December 10.  

“I wrote the song two years ago, as I had heard about the tragic incident of two cousins who were violated, killed and hung from a tree in Uttar Pradesh. That incident made me want to write a song to express the need for this violence to end. We’ve just heard the news from Hyderabad of another awful and brutal act of violation and murder, so this feels like an important time to release the song during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence ,” says Ms Mandie, as she speaks to SBS Punjabi. 

The project includes a workshop, discussion, dance and film shoot. And a high-energy, foot-tapping song titled, That Girl. 

The video of That Girl, features a Bollywood-style flash mob, and has been choreographed by Marshie Perera Rajakumar 

Ms Mandie is an Australian married to an Indian. She has two young daughters and calls herself a feminist. She hence feels compelled to comment, through her art, on the rising number of violation against women, especially in India. 

“The young woman in Hyderabad who was raped and burnt last week was only going to work. I often think my girls too could be living in India,” says Ms Mandie. 

To be launched on December 7, this music video is part of a larger project jointly undertaken by Ms Mandie, Community Music Victoria, Impact for Women, Multicultural Arts Victoria, the Indian and Bhutanese communities of the City of Boroondara and Wodonga and the Indigenous community in Yarra Ranges 

The project comprises three short documentary films that aim to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality, safety and respect for women and girls.  

‘That Girl’ project has been appreciated in the federal parliament by Cathy McGowan, Member for Indi.  

Click on the player at the top to listen to this interview in English. 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

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