"I " need to Speak Up for my Right

Bharti Singh Chauhan
Posted June 20, 2016 from India
Mission Jagriti - Educating adolscent Girls on Personal Safety
Girls Gets the wings to fly
Girls Gets the wings to fly (1/7)

I was 13 Years Old, when I used to Play, I used to dream of a fairy world with loads of fun, choclates, Games, new Dresses and a happy life with my parents. But suddenly something happened and I found myself changing, My body was changing! I was growing and the way i used to think about my future was changing day by Day.

One day I went with my mother to a grocery shop to get groceries and was standing near by mother seeing here and there, and suddenly noticed my mother slapped the owner of the shop. I was shocked. I asked my Mother - Mumma What Happened. Why did you slapped him? Immediately my Mother holded my hand tight and pulled me and took me back to home. I could not understand and the question was always pushing my mind why did mumma do this?

After 2 years of the incident, While I was going to school, Again a strange thing happened. There was a Man who was following me, He suddenly hit me on my breast and It pained and i looked back to him but he moved fast, and I was not able to say anything to him. I didnot discuss this with anyone, as thinking if i tell about it, everyone will laugh at me.

Now my struggling phase started I was around 16, due to financial issues at home increased day by day all i had to do is work for my family to earn the bread, All my dreams I used to see about the fairy world were shattered, But I wanted to study and I had a strong determination that I will do anything for it. I started stiching falls on sarees, One of my friend taught me heena to apply on hand and now I got another option to go to functions at places where I was paid money for applying heenas, I not only earned money for our bread, but also saved money for my school fees and further continued my studies.

Live was going smooth and again one day I was invitied in a marriage party by one of my known person. I along with a aunty who taught me heena went there, during the party I was applying heena and suddenly I saw a man starring at me, and I felt very uncomfartable, but I tried to ignore him, after some time, I felt thirsty and went to drink water near water cooler, when I was coming back the person stopped my way and with force holded my hand, I told to leave my hand, but he did not, I told him I will shout but he forcefully pulled me near him, I was scared but immediately Some force pushed me and I started shouting help Help, Hearing this the man immedately left me and ran away. This was for the first Time I fought for me and that day I realized why my mother had slapped the grocery shop owner.

After I completed my Education, I started my NGO named PraveenLata Sansthan in 2013 that works for Child Welfare and Women Empowerment.

From Last 3 years I have been working hard to educate adolscent girls to talk about their Personal Safety, Mission Jagriti is designed to create a secure, safe and reliable environment for every child to grow develop and survive with dignity and without any discrimination or prejudice. Our main motto is to make the girls aware about how to protect themselves from all forms of abuse, negligence and exploitation & make them aware about their Rights & Conduct awareness program across the community to Save Girls, Educate Girls & Safety of Girls. It’s not only educating them about Good Touch or Bad touch but briefing them about various stages of issues which could be a part of abuses which includes, flirting, harrassment etc. The workshops are conducted in schools and Communities for Adolscent Girls in the form of videos and story narrations. Also school authorities are asked to form a sexual harrasment committee consisting of teachers/students to address the issues raised. The impact was till date

+15500 Adolescent Girls educated on Personal Safety

Sensitized more than 55000 on Beti Bachaon,Beti Padhao,Betiyon Ki Suraksha through roadshows and various activities on grounds

Trained with support of Volunteers +1500 Girls on Self Defense

11 Pragati Sakhi’s (Girl beneficiaries ) trained group of Girls who are the ambassadors Recently Honorable President of India recognized me with100 Women Achievers award for the work I have been doing.

It changed my Life, Because I took the aim to "SPEAK UP FOR MY RIGHT"

If I Not than who Will?

I have the Power to CHange! So I will!

This story was submitted in response to #SheMeansBusiness: Women Entrepreneurs.

Comments 9

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Jamie Ross
Jun 23, 2016
Jun 23, 2016

Bharti - Your NGO is so important as you explain to women how their bodies are their own and that no one can assume access to their bodies. They must use their voices to exclaim that their bodies belong only to themselves. Thank you.

Bharti Singh Chauhan
Jul 12, 2016
Jul 12, 2016

Dear Ross Thanks for motivating me this is something i always look for,although trying to do my bit but alwsys i want all my sisters to join me in my aim to create a safe and secure world for girls and women in my country. so that no nirbhay is found.

https://www.facebook.com/Praveenlatasansthan

loads of love

Dana Anderson
Jun 24, 2016
Jun 24, 2016

Hi Bharti, 

I enjoyed reading this story because it shows how each one of us has a choice when it comes to the challenges we face as women in the world. We can either fall silent and accept the unacceptable behavior of individuals who do not respect women, or we can respond, as you did, by speaking out, coming together, and forging new standard. 

Thank you for sharing about your NGO, your personal experiences and your determination to create change! 

Bharti Singh Chauhan
Jul 12, 2016
Jul 12, 2016

Thank u dana truly said that everyone has the right to speak out but as a girl n women we always keep our silent taking a deep breath thinking about family relatives and so on..but yes this is a need of the society that now girls must know about their rights and speak up and for this i will try each step to work out n try changing the taughts in my country where as a women we dont speak up. once again thanks for motivating me. u can connect on Facebook also https://www.facebook.com/Praveenlatasansthan

Alexandra Fercak
Jun 29, 2016
Jun 29, 2016

Hello Bharti,

what an amazing story! Thank you for sharing and thank you for what you are doing with your NGO. You are clearly an excellent role model and someone with the courage to speak up and to help others to do the same. Educating girls about their right to feel safe and to be respected is crucial. The work of your NGO will have great influence on the community and on society in general.

And congratulations on being recognized with an award. Well done! You not only changed your own life, but you are also helping to change the lives of others. 

Greetings and thanks again for sharing your story.

Bharti Singh Chauhan
Jul 12, 2016
Jul 12, 2016

Thank u alexandra for your highly motivated words which is giving me positive vibes to do good work.in my country no one wants to talk about wrong things but for first time i took the aim to speak up for my right and if someone gets motivated from me i will be the most happiest person.

thanks once again for ur live

Upasana Chauhan
Jul 19, 2016
Jul 19, 2016

Hello Bharti 

               Thanks a lot for sharing your story .. It took me down a deep memory lane where I faced similar issues .. I don't think we are the only one who faced it .. Every single girl in India have to go through this at one point of life... I can't even count how many times was I hit by a stranger on my breasts or bum or wherever they could get their hands on ... I don't believe that it's 2016 and it's still the same and our sisters are still going through this everyday trauma even today... Thanks a lot but for educating girls about the good touch n bad touch ... We weren't privilieged to even share it ... So proud of you and I am sure every single girl would thank you for ages to come :) 

Lots of Love n yes lot more hugs <3

Upasana

ARREY- ECHI
Jul 20, 2016
Jul 20, 2016

Harassing a girl is seen as normal in many communities and many girls dare not raise their voices for fear of being stigmatised. Thank you for sharing your story and for educating and empowering girls to do same.

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 06, 2016
Sep 06, 2016

Dear Bharti,

I have been aware of your extensive work empowering girls, but to read today about your story, your growing awareness of violence from men toward your mother, you, and other girls and women in your country, adds such important and inspiring information to any others seeking ideas of how to turn this around. How your own experience retaining your belief in yourself became the work you are doing today, seeing the numbers of girls and women who have benefited, and reading your call for action "school authorities are  asked to form a sexual harrasment committee consisting of teachers/students to address the issues raised" - imagine if we would call for this everywhere! You are a true inspiration.

With love in sisterhood,

Tam

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