Start Up Gathers Funds for Women’s Safety in India

Original article, Digital Journal, Baisakhi Roy

The horrific rape of a student in India in December 2012 sent shockwaves throughout the nation. It also made an indelible impression on economist Shruti Kapoor who decided to set up a platform for women with all things related to personal safety.

For the past year Shruti Kapoor has been working to set up Sayfty, and raising funds to provide women in India with materials that will help them live and travel safely. Kapoor spoke to Digital Journal about her passion for women’s rights issues.

Q) Tell us a bit about yourself and why you are campaigning for this issue.

A) I came to the US in the year and 2000 and got my masters in Economics from Marquette University. I then joined the World Bank in DC for 2 years. Thereafter I moved to California to pursue my Phd in Economics. During the same time I consulted for the World Bank on and off. After graduating with a doctorate degree I taught Economics at Occidental College for a year.

In a nutshell, I am an economist by training, very passionate about issues facing developing countries. Since the past year I have been working on setting Sayfty up and vision it to be a platform to help women with all things related to personal safety.

Q) What motivated you to raise funds for Sayfty and what do hope to achieve?

A) I want to help and provide women in India the same sense of security I feel when I walk the streets of New York City. I feel free and I feel safe. A vast majority of women in India feel neither! I want to help by creating awareness. I want to help by equipping every woman in India with personal safety tools that are portable, effective, safe and easy to use. Tools like pepper spray that can be effective in warding off danger. At Sayfty our mission is to help women in India protect themselves against violence with the help of personal safety products, information & awareness. We want to raise up-to $25,000 in the next 3 weeks. Sayfty will use all the money to equip women in India with pepper sprays and self defense classes. I believe we as women must be in charge of our own safety and the time is now to do something about it.

Q) Tell us a bit about what tools do you hope to equip women with and how can one contribute towards this?

A) Our aim is to equip 1800 women with a can of Pepper Spray each in Delhi & Mumbai. We will give 200 women in India access to self-defense classes. We have tied up with two companies (Justice for Women & Sportz 360 India Pvt. Ltd.) in Mumbai and Delhi that will provide 15 hours of self-defense training per woman. All the money raised will go towards supplies, education and marketing around the issue of violence against women.

You can contribute to the campaign here

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