We know that women’s safety is a huge issue in India. Reports of rapes with females — from toddlers to elderly age groups — are no news to us. And yet, we have some NGOs working solely to reach out to the victims until we completely shut this topic out. Some of these NGOs are run and founded by women who have taken it as a social responsibility to spread awareness and make places safer for other women.

Here is a list of six incredible women actively participating in the women’s safety dialogue-

Shreena Thakore and Ria Vaidya
Shreena Thakore and Ria Vaidya of No Country for Women (Pic by Idiva)
  • Shreena Thakore and Ria Vaidya

The erroneous consent culture, the barefaced sexist attacks on women and open harassment — whether on streets or behind closed doors — provoked Shreena Thakore to found ‘No Country For Women’. The ex-Googler founded this organisation along with a friend who she met at Brown University, Ria Vaidya. Both decided to initiate a fight against gender discrimination and victim blaming. Started in 2014, today they have reached out to over 7,000 students through 60 workshops conducted in 47 institutions across 17 cities. They created online content and campaigns that are being circulated in schools to create a space for a gender education curriculum.

Kalpana Vashisht
Kalpana Vashisht (Pic by Business Standard)
  • Kalpana Vashisht

How many of you know the safe spaces in your respective cities in India? Well, to make it easier to find spaces which are gender-friendly and give you a space to vent out about any case of sexual harassment at any particular place, Kalpana Vashisht formulated a system called Safetipin. It is a social enterprise providing a number of technology solutions to make our cities safer for women and others. Recently, Safetipin engaged with the Delhi government and helped them locate all the dark areas in the city that need street lights.

Laxmi Aggarwal
Not acid attack but a man’s mentality is a problem (Pic by DNA)
  • Laxmi Aggarwal

Laxmi was attacked at the age of 15 by her 32-year-old relative who was madly in love with her and wanted to marry her. When she refused his advances, he along with two other men threw acid on her face. But the braveheart Laxmi did not let her jilted lover subdue her spirit. Today, she runs Chaanv Foundation where she counsels and empowers many acid attack victims from all over the country. She also goes and meets victims on receiving any news of acid attack. Her petition to stop acid sale got 27,000 signatures, after which Supreme Court passed a law to stop the sale of acid.

Ruchira Gupta
Ruchira Gupta
  • Ruchira Gupta

Ruchira, who started out as a passionate journalist, has constantly written about women’s rights and issues. Hailing from Kolkata, Ruchira later went on to be the founder of Apne Aap Women Worldwide, an NGO. It works at uprooting the deeply-rooted issue of sex trade in India and now across nations. Her most recent and biggest success was the new anti-trafficking law, Section 370 of the IPC that was passed in India as part of the anti-rape Bill in 2013.

Binalakshmi Nepram
Binalakshmi Nepram
  • Binalakshmi Nepram

Founder of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network, Binalakshmi Nepram has launched this initiative to help Manipuri women and women living in other violence-affected areas in the North Eastern region of the country. Through the network, Binalakshmi helps women in opening bank accounts and raising funds to set up small shops to sustain themselves. For being so consistent in talking about the North East, she is literally known as the ‘The Face & Voice of North East’. She has received many awards and recognition for her work in rehabilitating women.