Aparna Rajawat knows how difficult it is to be a woman in India. After living in London and interacting with women from around the world, she felt empowered and decided she wanted to share that with women back home. She created Pink Belt Mission in Agra, India to teach women about their legal rights, safety techniques and tools for dealing with sexual and domestic abuse. So far she has touched the lives of 150,000 different women across seven different states in India – and she’s just getting started.
Rajawat’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
I founded Pink Belt Mission in India with the objective to empower young Indian women by teaching them specific health and safety techniques, teaching them about their legal rights, as well as providing education and awareness towards preventing sexual and domestic abuse.
I have in-depth knowledge about the pain and suffering of Indian women. I experienced it growing up, as many women in India do, and I always thought very differently from everyone else about the role of being a woman in Indian society. But after interacting with women from around the world I started changing my views about existence and the importance of my role as a female. I wanted to make every female in India feel this way too. It led me to become an inspirational speaker for women, their rights and their role in society.
I left my high paying job in London and devoted my life to do something for my own sisters in India. My objective is to empower Indian women by teaching them specific health and safety techniques, about their legal rights and cyber crime all while providing education and awareness towards preventing sexual and domestic abuse. I aim to give every woman SELF – strength, confidence, self respect and esteem to be able to see this world as a safe place for them to live.
My advice to other entrepreneurs would be, don’t give up – because you are not a failure until you stop trying. Keep moving ahead no matter how many challenges come on your way because no matter the struggles, the hard time will pass. You know your real potential and true strength, so when the going gets tough, change direction not your destination.
We’ve had many big successes recently. Specifically during the past 18 months, I am proud to say that we have trained over 150,000 girls in seven states in India! We have further trained about 2,000 students to become coaches themselves and spread our mission to girls in other schools and rural communities.
It is a challenge to be a woman in India. On top of that, working towards the safety of women and the protection of their rights is itself a big challenge every day. We face massive challenges from society, like death threats, a lack of support from the administration and government. Spending finances from my own pocket and working day and night is an every day story for us. But the more challenges I face, the stronger I become. So challenges are good for me.
So big challenges comes every other day from society, death threats, no support from administration, spending finances from my own pocket by working day & night is story of everyday. But more challenges comes more stronger I become SO challenges are good for me 🙂
My role models are Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres.