आओ! तुम भी दायरा तोड़ो

women empowerment

1. Thumpa Barman

THUMPA BARMAN had always wanted to be a driver. So when, at the institute where she was learning how to drive, Barman got to know about an opportunity that would lead her ferry female passengers on a bike taxi, she didn’t think twice. The 21-year-old, who lives with her family in Delhi, can be seen helping women travel distances in Karol Bagh, Jhandewalan and nearby areas. The battery-operated bike taxi service, which is run by Delhi-based startup Pillion, is available at a price of Rs15 and Rs 5 per km by dialling 82528-82528, or by boarding them from metro stations of the areas where these e-bike taxis ply.

Barman works from 9 am to 5 pm, and earns a few thousands every day. Pillion was launched in 2016 and has over 60 battery operated bike taxis plying within a radius of 5 km in Karol Bagh and Jhandewalan in the Capital. All bikes taxis are equipped with in-built GPS which will help in tracking the bike location any time. It is the brainchild of three environment-conscious Delhiites – Nikhil Malik, Karan Chadha, and Pawneesh Rampal.

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2. Onaiza Drabu and Prachi Jha

Started by Onaiza Drabu and Prachi Jha, Daak is bringing back nearly-forgotten pieces of Indian art and literature in a manner that appeals to young people. An essay by the Indian feminist Ismat Chughtai talking about being charged with obscenity; snippets from a deleted AIR interview of Che Guevara during his visit to India; a picture of the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft, and in a saree – these are some of the little known fragments of India’s old, still buzzing literature, art, and other movements that Daak is trying to revive.

To make this material interesting, Daak uses some themes to tap into a certain nostalgia. Most of their posts are shared with a vintage look. Apart from interesting pieces of literature, Onaiza also shares humorous records from Indian history.

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3. Hekani Jakhalu

A lawyer by profession, Hekani Jakhalu founded YouthNet in 2006 to give employment and entrepreneurial opportunity to youth of Nagaland.

India’s northeast has long been considered a neglected area when it comes to creation of employment opportunities, leading to high migration among young people. Realising this gap, Hekani Jakhalu, a Delhi-based lawyer, resigned from her high-paying job and, in 2006, founded YouthNet in Nagaland, which helps in empowering youth. Having practiced at both the Supreme Court of India and Delhi High Court, Hekani started YouthNet with a group of friends. Hekani was raised in Dimapur and was with her mother for most of the time as her father, who was in the army, travelled frequently. She later moved to Bengaluru, and then Delhi for higher studies, and studied law at the University of Delhi and then the University of San Francisco, US.

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