What do you do when you encounter an issue which bothers you? Like the open drain in front of your home? Or that one time you were cat-called on the way back from work? Most of us would brush off the irritation and move on, but some Indian women refused to let go. They persisted; in demanding change from governments, policymakers and stakeholders.
Using petitions on Change.org, these #SheCreatesChange changemakers have achieved significant impact in sanitation, education and disability-rights. The #SheCreatesChange campaign by Change.org provides support to women to initiate campaigns on issues that matter to them and put them in touch with relevant decision makers who could address their demand. As a part of The Quint’s ‘Me, the Change’ campaign, presented by Facebook, here’s looking at five such changemakers and the issues they fought for.
Bhavya Singh: Safer Public Spaces in Delhi
In March 2017, 30-year-old Bhavya Singh was harassed by a group of people outside the Nehru Place Metro station. An architect by profession, she started a petition asking Delhi’s Minister of Urban Development Satyender Jain to ensure better lighting for spots outside Metro stations in the city. Her movement #LightUpDelhi got 33,024 signatures and generated significant impact when Delhi PWD Minister Satyendra Jain agreeing to Singh’s demands.
Neha Shrimal: School-Based Self-Defence Training in Maharashtra
A self-defence instructor by profession, Neha Shrimal wanted schools in her home state of Maharashtra to introduce self-defence training for children above 4 years. She started her Change.org petition in March 2018. A year later, her petition has 138,461 signatures and in a significant victory for Shrimal, the Education Minister of Maharashtra has said that the government would introduce self-defence as a subject in schools.
Keerthi Bollineni: Speaking Up Against Domestic Violence
Aware of the problems domestic violence survivors face, Keerthi started a campaign on Change.org called #NoSilenceForViolence with a petition asking the Andhra Pradesh government to implement a sensitization program for police on dealing with domestic violence survivors. Her petition has garnered 106,540 signatures. In a report released in February 2019, Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu has appreciated the support system, ‘Mahila Mitra’ put in place by Bollineni and has announced that it must be replicated across the state.
Sonali Gupta: More Accessibility for Differently-Abled
A disability-rights activists, Sonali Gupta wants public spaces to be more accessible to differently-abled people like her. Through Change.org, she started a movement #KnowBeforeWeGo and demanded that ticketing platform Book My Show should display information on wheelchair accessibility for events and spaces. 19,015 have signed Gupta’s petition and Book My Show has responded officially to her petition.
Archana KR: Clean and Safe Toilets
A social worker by profession, Archana KR has asked the government of Karnataka to build clean and safe toilets on National Highway (NH) 75 which connects her hometown to Bangalore. Her petition has got nearly eight thousand signatures.
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