Commonwealth Point of Light 26. Srishti Bakshi
Srishti Bakshi, representing India on International Women’s Day, is the founder of the movement ‘CrossBow Miles’, which aims to empower women and make India a safer place for them.
After seeing that India’s National Crime Records Bureau recorded 327,394 cases of violence against women in 2015, Srishti decided to make a statement and spread her message of gender equality across the country. She is leading a team of hundreds of female volunteers on a 3800km walk through India, taking place across 260 days. During the walk she leads workshops for women in rural communities on digital and financial literacy, leadership training, and health. She has overseen the creation of an innovative mobile app where people from across the world can upload steps collected from their phone pedometers and virtually join the campaign’s ‘Billion Steps For Women’.
The award for Srishti was presented on 7th March by Sir Dominic Asquith KCMG, UK High Commissioner in India, as part of a reception marking International Women’s Day.
“Receiving the Commonwealth Points of Light Award on International Women’s Day 2018 has been an honour and a very pleasant surprise. It is overwhelming and humbling to be recognised for our efforts to build a safer and better India for women, by empowering them. At ‘CrossBow Miles’, we have always believed in doing our duty without expectation of a reward, but a recognition like this certainly reaffirms our belief in the work we am doing. Our heartfelt thanks to Her Majesty the Queen, the selection committee and the The British High Commission in New Delhi.”
Sir Dominic Asquith, UK High Commissioner in India, said:
“In achieving one billion steps, her ‘CrossBow Steps’ movement has spread the message of women’s empowerment and safety across India. I hope the Points of Light award helps Shrishti spread her message globally and I congratulate her for her tremendous creativity and determination.”
Below: HRH The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, celebrating volunteers and the Commonwealth Points of Light series on a visit to India in February 2018