For Women, By Women
“DEEP-ROOTED misogyny and gender stereotyping cannot change overnight. It is a long process of taking small steps in your own life and then moving towards more active volunteerism,” believes Srishti Bakshi. And she is quite literally taking several steps to create awareness for women’s safety and empowernment through her CrossBow Miles movement. Founder and campaign champion for this mass outreach and engagement platform, Srishti walked 3800 kms from Kanyakumari to Srinagar in over 230 days to sensitise citizens on CrossBow’s first campaign on combating violence against women through financial and digital literacy. She culminated her on-foot journey in Mumbai with a ‘Night Walk’ from High Street Phoenix to Haji Ali, leading enthusiastic Mumbaikars in a symbolic march to reclaim the dark as a safe place for women and girls. “These night walks serve as a reminder to the public that we are walking for and working towards a goal of reaching such a state when girls and women can come out of their homes without fear even if it is dark outside. The fear of stepping outside the home becomes a barrier for women to realise their true potential,” Srishti stated. The night walk was attended by a host of celebrities, the most prominent ones being Sushmita Sen and Dia Mirza, who exhorted the large crowds to participate in this citizen-led movement. “Dar Mat (Don’t fear). When women support each other, they can help each other and make cities safer. More women on the streets also make the streets safer. So speak up against violence. Make your city safe!” Sushmita encouraged. CrossBow, a social enterprise focused on re-labelling impact funds, from donations to Investments was founded by Srishti in 2016. Through her enterprise, she decided to put her skills and knowledge set to use for the benefit of humanity and started on this journey as a Champion for Change with the ‘Empower Women’ initiative by United Nations Women. More power to her.