The hashtag #MeToo created a viral sensation over social media recently with millions of women in the world speaking up about incidents of sexual assault, harassment, abuse, misconduct and mental health in the workplace and beyond. It became a social movement and opened a floodgate of stories and responses from India too. Our country has been plagued with issues concerning women’s safety with horrific cases being reported every single day.
With a strong aim to change this very situation and to make the daily lives of working women in the silicon valley of India, Bengaluru better- a student teacher duo from IFIM Business School began the S.A.F.E ( Students against Female Exploitation) initiative in 2013. It was launched as a helpline in Electronic City where any woman who felt unsafe could quickly dial the helpline number and students from the SAFE committee would immediately provide help. This initiative is completely volunteer and student -driven.
A glimpse of Kanyathon 2017
Along with the three-pronged objective of prevent, protect and reward, the SAFE cell also wants to create awareness amongst the local population regarding women’s safety and domestic violence. The response from the public has been extremely positive and this is showcased in the annual Kanyathon – a marathon specific to the protection of women and their security. This year will see its 7th edition which aims to bring to light the unjust exploitation of the girl child and women in the country and promote women empowerment.
The cheque handover event of Kanyathon 2017. The proceeds were used to send over 1,21,000 girl children back to school.
The SAFE cell is also developing a website and an app to reach out to a wider base and wants to involve other colleges in developing similar SAFE cells too.