Safecity is celebrating the journey of people who have emerged as leaders as our campaigns progressed in their communities through our blog series “Safecity Emerging Leaders”. Read the inspiring stories of these individuals who are passionate about making their neighbourhoods safer with Safecity and have taken action in their own special ways.
Ashmita Das is a 20 year old literature student at Jai Hind College and a part time teacher. I love to sing and especially, write. I want to be a teacher because the main motive behind it is to teach the new generation that all human beings are equal and everyone has the right to live their life accordingly. I always explain that in the 21st century, we not only need development in technology but also in ideology.
Emerging Leaders: Ashmita Das
I am Ashmita Das, 20 years old Literature student from Jai Hind College, Mumbai. I want to become a teacher. I love singing, exploring food and travelling. I also love reading books especially those on feminism. I enjoy writing as a means of expressing what I feel. Writing helps people visualize what you want to say and sometimes helps you recognize yourself.
I had taken up “Women Studies” during my second year of degree college and was assigned to intern with Safecity for a month. I was to be a part of the different teams and write a report on my experience at the end of the month. Being a part of the Social Media team, I came across numerous issues with respect to women and also did my part in creating awareness. During that month, I attended an awareness workshop in a Municipality school in Mankhurd. Safecity was conducting workshops about CSA for 1500 students at that time in BMC schools. The workshop covered information on safety, sexual harassment and the importance of raising one’s voice against injustice and harassment. Within just a month, I discovered that I had been oblivious of so many problems that women and girls face. Safecity was a big eye-opener and encouraged me to reach out to anyone who needed help.
It’s now been a year since I’ve been volunteering with Safecity. In this year, I have worked on the Social Media team as well as helped on-ground. I have had the opportunity to attend some of the awareness workshops that Safecity conducts like “Safety for hostellites”, “Women’s safety” and many more. On Fridays, I participated in the tweetchats where I had the chance to interact with people from every nook and corner sharing their views on the topic of the day. Through these chats, I have been learning more and more each week. I was even selected to be one of the mentees this year at the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk in Mumbai. That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me! Without hesitating, I spoke about my problems and difficulties with my mentor who was thoughtful and gave me solutions to handle those problems.
Safecity has given me a lot of exposure and taught me to think from others’ perspectives as well. Now, I question things that I don’t understand, I have learned to put my views ahead assertively, I have learned to be a helping hand when I see others in need.
I have learned to say ‘NO’ to what I don’t like and ‘YES’ to what I feel is right. Safecity has taught me to stand up for myself when society points its fingers and most of all, I have learned to love ‘myself’. I have also learned to accept people the way they are.
Other’s opinions and negativity do not distress me as much as they used to before. Safecity has also made me really determined. Earlier, I used to be scared of travelling in the local trains in Mumbai. Now, I grit my teeth and go ahead with a smile on my face and courage in my heart.
Working with Safecity has been a wonderful experience. Each person associated with Safecity, whether the core team or volunteers, is kind and I enjoy the positivity that I feel around them. The energy makes me stronger. Even though I mainly volunteer for the Social Media team and help occasionally on-ground, I have never restricted or been restricted from helping in any other task assigned to me. I learn something good at the end of each task which makes me happy and proud to be a part of Safecity.
With Safecity I have become more aware of my rights and the law related to sexual harassment. I make it a point to spread this awareness to other girls, women or any human being I interact with. I encourage people to share their stories and break their silences. I hope for a day when every girl can live safely even in crowded places.