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Riding rickshaw for a cause

Neha Das , March 8, 2013:

International womens day

Much has been spoken about the ‘weaker sex’ and much has been ‘done’ for the ‘vulnerable class’.

Hundreds of debate have taken place talking about women and their state in our country but virtually nothing concrete shows up on ground. No noble words or protests can possibly change the fate of Indian women, only sensible thinking and thoughts can!

So, today being the International Women’s Day, is dedicated to the ‘fairer sex’ and their achievements. Taking an initiative is Vodafone Foundation which announced a Red Rickshaw Revolution to raise money for NGOs working to empower women. The initiative will see three women - Laura Turkington (director, Vodafone Foundation in India), Carina Deegan, Foundation support and Sunita Choudhary, Delhi’s first woman auto rickshaw driver, who will travel a distance of over 1500 kilometres from Delhi to Mumbai in a red auto rickshaw over nine days.

Talking to Metrolife Laura says, “Our objective is to celebrate the achievements of ordinary women doing extraordinary things across India. The idea is to meet these women and tell their inspirational story to the world, highlight their achievements, inspiring many more to follow. Additionally, the campaign intends to raise funds for NGO’s working towards women empowerment.”

Departing from Delhi on the Match 9, these three women in their red rickshaw will travel through Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, arriving in Mumbai on the March 18. The red rickshaw will also pass through cities like Alwar, Jaipur, Ajmer, Rajsamand, Shamlaji, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Daman and Mumbai.

According to Laura, empowering women is very important today for social development, and making communities more resilient and hopes this initiative will make some difference.

“In the nine day time span, we intend meeting and telling 27 amazing stories of women who have accomplished extraordinary feats. We have kept a realistic count of nine days to finish the expedition from Delhi to Mumbai by an autorickshaw and will try and accommodate maximum impactful stories that we can share with the world. Additionally, riding through more than 1500 kms through the heartland of India, we will experience the local flavour and culture as well.”

Is the Women’s Day only an opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishment of women and their economic, political and social contributions or is it a day to deeply think about the future prospects of women in the country? “The Red Rickshaw Revolution is a campaign which resonates with the Women’s Day spirit, and that is why we chose this day to start our campaign and show the world that women are no less,” adds Laura.


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