by Roberta Lindal, Founder of La Petite Écolière and KONSNT.
Take a step toward making India safer and better for women.
The CrossBow Miles movement is aiming to combat violence against women in India through mass outreach and engagement. The movement started in India, when Srishti Bakshi began a 3800 km walk over 260 days, across India to educate citizens about violence against women, and teach them financial and digital literacy skills. Srishti was tired of hearing about the hardships women in India face, and decided to mobilise communities to change the status quo. Srishti aims to help people understand that violence against women, and gender bias is not something that should be tolerated, but that needs to be fought actively. Now, she is crowd sourcing the journey from people across the world, and is aiming to have one billion steps contributed toward the initiative.
I first learned about CrossBow Miles through the bubbly and charismatic, Kiran Kumar. Kiran is a 16 year old girl who was asked to be the Canadian Chapter head of CrossBow Miles, after selling Samosas in her high school lobby to raise money for the initiative. Kiran asked me to speak at her event, At A Woman’s Expense, which raised $1,500 for the movement.
I spoke about my personal experiences with surviving sexual violence and my personal struggles through my education as the catalyst for starting KONSNT and La Petite Écolière. Kiran is just getting started, and is already planning her two next events to get women walking and talking about this initiative. We’re working on a Woman’s Workshop in May with some amazing speakers, and a full day walkathon in June.
So how can you get involved? The CrossBow Miles app (available on the App store) is your way to join along in Srishti’s journey. Each step you take will help unlock funds contributed by corporate and private donors. You can choose which initiative to walk for: women’s education, skills development, health and hygiene or women’s empowerment. I personally am walking to Say No to Violence Against Women, and have my daily steps and exercise go toward educating one village about gender issues. So far, I have taken 4,286 steps, and have 92,000 to go to achieve this goal!
CrossBow Miles is an amazing way to stay motivated about your fitness and movement goals, while also helping dismantle violence against women in India. I encourage you to walk with me, and Srishti, to take a Billion Steps For Women.