Breaking Taboos with Quirky Videos- Meet Anisha Dixit aka Rickshawali
She’s witty, spunky and wants to help the woman kind break the taboos with her simple belief- if we talk about it often, it won’t be taboo anymore! Anisha Dixit known by her YouTube name Rickshawali has taken on the internet with bold videos such as The Period Song, the problems women face while buying bras or why she is clueless about sex! Her beloved community whom she calls the Ricksters has taken her to over 270,000 subscribers on the video platform. In a conversation with SheThePeople, we get to know what makes her tick and are there enough women on YouTube?
Firstly, tell us the story behind the name Rickshawali.
“Rickshaws are everywhere in India and everyone is familiar with it. What would you call a person who makes videos inside a Rickshaw? Voila! Rickshawali! It got stuck in my head and after a while, I fell in love with it.”
Let’s get straight to it, are there enough women YouTubers in India? What drives them to the platform?
“Currently there are a few but not enough women on Youtube in India. However, more girls and women are mustering up the courage to voice their opinion and creativity online. I guess people are driven to this platform because it is not censored, unlike a few other platforms. People can take a camera and start recording themselves, and don’t have to wait for an opportunity. You create your own opportunity!”
That’s such good advice! Let’s talk about The Period Song, why did you choose that subject?
” I chose that topic because I am quiet passionate about girls and women issues especially here in India. As a matter a fact, I started my channel because I wanted to empower and inspire girls! I know how it feels to be a girl in a conservative environment. That is why my creative partner Badrish Patil and I started talking about these subjects. We realised that singing about Periods would highlight the issue in a much clear way. Plus, there is nothing that beats comedy and music in spreading awareness!”
Do you think videos like these will help spread awareness?
” I believe, one way to break such taboos is to talk about it as often as possible. It has to naturally become part of our daily lives, and it won’t be a taboo anymore.”
Are women ok to discuss topics such as periods, breastfeeding etc openly now?
” Of course not! It is an ongoing fight. Thankfully, there are many more organizations and individuals talking about different taboo topics everyday. The younger generation seems more open and okay to discuss it. It’s the previous generation and the one before, who need to open up.
What are some of the comments you get on your taboo subject videos?
“The comments on my taboo topic videos are usually positive! Most of the people encourage me to continue doing what I do but there are always these conservative mindsets that prefer to defend their point of view in a derogatory way.Interestingly not all mean comments come from men, which one would presume to be the case. In fact, many of the mean comments come from women. Most of them enthusiastically claim that I am being shameless by talking about such issues and that I don’t know anything about the Indian culture!”
Eeks! Which begs the question- is the digital world woman friendly?
“Sadly, that is not the case. The digital world affords you to be anonymous if you are so inclined and many misuse that anonymity. Not just in India but internationally too, women are fighting for a more friendly environment, especially online. Therefore, I would advise to any girl or women out there, who is thinking about coming online, don’t be discouraged. We need to stick together and fight for our place in this world. It might be hard now, but the more we keep doing what we love, this world and the digital world will be safe space for everyone. “
What is your life mantra?
“Don’t wait for opportunities. Make your own.”
And finally, your advice to budding YouTubers?
“Don’t wait! Just go for it. If you have something interesting to share, just grab your phone and start recording. There should be absolutely nothing that should stop you other than your internet speed! “