“Pushing forward in the face of resistance gives us power.”
I recently wrote about a remarkable young woman I met while traveling in India. Aparna Rajawat is a true warrior and is fighting to help women in India, young and old, through the Pink Belt Mission she established three years ago. Read more about their mission and goals and what sparked the movement in this recent post: On a Mission: Fighting for Women in India.
Why am I writing about her again? As I’ve learned more about what she has already accomplished in addition to her future goals, I want to help Aparna and this post is about doing that. As I previously wrote, “Because we are all sisters, whether we know each other or not. Whether we live in the same country or not. When we make the world a better, safer place for one we do it for all of us.”
Here is the Trailer for the Pink Belt Mission documentary that is due to be released later this year.
Yes, we are all sisters and we are all warriors. If you are a woman and you are a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife or a mentor, then you have been a defender of yourself, your family, colleagues and perhaps strangers. Some days I think I’m more of a warrior than others. Because let’s face it, it can be exhausting. Every superhero can get tired every now and then. But Aparna has chosen to be a warrior for ALL women in India. I’m in awe of what she has undertaken and I have the utmost respect for her work ethic, her drive, determination, kind heart and never-give-up spirit.
Courtesy Aparna Rajawat Instagram
The statistics and the reality of the violence against women in India may be difficult for some who read this to grasp, or to be moved to take action. That’s okay. When you’ve never been faced with such unthinkable atrocities, it’s very easy to feel far removed. But the gang rape and eventual death of Jyoti Singh, 23, in 2012 sparked national as well as international outrage and galvanized the country, leading to new laws that have taken effect to protect women and punish offenders. For example, now there are separate cars on trains designated for women and children, and the police monitor them routinely to assure that they remain safe places for travel. Stiffer laws are in place to deal with rape cases, and stalking and groping are now treated as actual crimes.
What happened on that fateful night: Jyoti Singh Gang Rape Case News Story
The news headlines and story were also the inspiration behind a new Netflix series that was released just a few months ago, Delhi Crime. I encourage you to take a look, the series does an excellent job of helping us understand the historical situation in India that led to the horrific crime. Add it to your Watchlist.
Aparna continues to inspire everyone around her. Her indomitable spirit, unfailing kindness, towering intellect, and her refusal to let the “status quo” of how women have been treated in India continue are testament to the person she is. It takes strength to know what’s right. I’m choosing to support her efforts and the Pink Belt Mission, and I’m asking for your help in her work to make a difference in millions of women’s lives. Because we are all fighting for something, whether in India, the United States or another country.
Because she has been using her own funds to create and support the Pink Belt Mission for the last three years, Aparna is now reaching out for worldwide support to help continue their efforts. She has been meeting with Indian officials including government to garner support for her educational programs that teach young girls and women how to be empowered and defend themselves against unwarranted violence. But the wheels of government in India turn slowly, just as they do everywhere, and she can’t continue to wait if she wants to keep the Mission going.
Aparna has tirelessly conducted programs, given free speeches and motivational presentations to numerous groups to spread the word about Pink Belt Mission. As she and her team prepare for a very special event on February 19, 2020 where they will attempt to break a Guinness book of world records, they desperately need additional funding to assure that no one gets turned away and girls can attend the event at no cost.
As I look at another year of growing older, I’m choosing to make this birthday count in a very different, very meaningful way. I’ve posted a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser and if you’d like to contribute just head over to my Facebook page. Or you can contact me directly if you’d like to support in a different way. You can comment to this post below. Or just email me at email@example.com. I’m in frequent contact with Aparna and will assure any funds are delivered personally and directly to her.
And will you help me by forwarding this Chez Suzette blog post to others you know? There is power in numbers, and the more people around the world who become aware of the situation and the Pink Belt Mission can only help add to its success. Thank you!