For past few days, I had been deeply disturbed by the horrific stories of young girls being raped by the very people who were supposed to be their guardians in the shelter. More disturbing was the fact that many people knew about this, in fact, heard their screams but decided to ignore their pleas. This criminal silence has made our society also equally responsible for this horrific crime.
Silence comes with its own cost. Whenever we ignore the rising incidents of hate crimes, or gender violence or any such injustice we see around us, we are equally responsible. You never know when this silence is going to knock on your door and you will have nobody to speak for you. 

While we hang our heads in shame at how we failed those girls, I also wanted to be reminded of many inspiring leaders who decided to break this silence. Impassioned by this very silence surrounding sex trafficking and gender violence, Sunitha Krishnan decided to dedicate her life to rescuing women and girls and rehabilitating them. Her journey, which started with one lone voice, has many supporters today. An archaic law like Section 377 is being fought by the many voices who stood up for what they believe is just and right. We cannot build a just and equal society we dream of, until each one of us does our bit to be more engaged citizens, and not look the other way.

Silence is the ocean of the repressed, the unheard and the powerless. Its time to break it as keeping silent is not an option anymore.

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Sarika Bhattacharyya, Co-Founder & CEO, BeyonDiversity Foundation is a highly respected speaker on gender diversity, leadership and related business issues. She was felicitated with Leadership in Mentoring Award by Hillary Clinton &Vital Voices. She has been featured as the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants by The Economist and one of theTop 50 Indian Women to follow in Twitter by WOW Asia. You can follow her on twitter @sarikabhattach