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.

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