Tamil Nadu

Woman on a mission

For enhanced safety: Srishti Bakshi embarks on her ‘Modern Day Dandi March’ across India.

For enhanced safety: Srishti Bakshi embarks on her ‘Modern Day Dandi March’ across India.   | Photo Credit: A_SHAIKMOHIDEEN;A_SHAIKMOHIDEEN

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Srishti Bakshi decides to walk 3,800 km across India for women’s safety

Srishti Bakshi tightened her shoelace, straightened her shirt and flashed the sign of equality as she strode across roads narrow and wide in Kanniyakumari on Friday. Hand-in-hand with a host of chuckle-ready girls from the Vivekananda College of Arts and Science, she took the first step on a 3,800-km-long journey across India to educate women about their safety, here on Friday.

“This is my modern day Dandi March. I’m looking to begin the conversation about women’s safety through financial and digital literacy and educate them about their rights,” she said after seeking the blessings of Pandiamma, a 76-year-old woman, who was intrigued by the walk. Srishti, a Hong Kong-based marketing professional, quit her job to begin ‘Project Crossbow,’ a movement to empower change makers across the nation. She hopes to interact with 60,000 people over 260 days in her journey from Kanniyakumari to Srinagar. She is also attempting to hit a collective one billion steps on foot through a mobile application called ‘Crossbow Miles’, which can be downloaded to extend support.

Every six days, she will take a break to conduct four-hour workshops. Through workshops in colleges and villages, she will attempt to break rigid gender moulds and address a wide range of issues, including dowry, rape, hygiene and education. She has partnered with Project FUEL of Deepak Ramola, an organisation that documents life lessons of men and women, and curates workshops on leadership, team building and self-awareness.

“Most women I’ve met do not know what an FIR is. I was shaken by the Highway 91 incident [rape of Nirbhaya] in Delhi. We keep blaming the government but make no effort to change the state of affairs. As a citizen, I refuse to stay silent,” she said. Armed with 20 volunteers, this United Nations Champion for Change said that she began planning for the trip one and a half years sago.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 4:39:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/woman-on-a-mission/article19694669.ece

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