Let's Be Po-Lite This Diwali - Help Me Empower Women Street Vendors


Thank you for your interest in my fundraiser. This festive season, I want to help 200 women entrepreneurs in Bangalore city. These are women with whom you and I interact with on a daily basis. Yet, their voices and needs are largely unnoticed in the planning and development mechanisms of big cities like Bangalore. 

During the year's festive season, I hope to facilitate better working conditions for these champion women street vendors  in Bangalore. These women toil all day and night in order to bring us the freshest vegetables, flowers and many other daily essentials. This will only be possible with your support.

I have been interacting with Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyaapari Sanghatanegala Okkuta (Federation of Street Vendor Unions in Bangalore District) to shortlist 200 women street vendors. Together, with your support I hope to provide them with solar lighting systems for their carts. This will ensure that they have clean and green lighting along with facilities like mobile charging. Further more, it will enhance productivity and bring transformation in their lives. 

Each of these Portable Light(Po-Lite) systems have been designed by me, taking inputs from the street vendors themselves. 

For 1500 INR / 25$ you can empower one woman entrepreneur. 

For 3000 INR / 50$ you can empower two women entrepreneurs.

For 4500 INR / 75$ you can empower three women entrepreneurs.

Please join me during this festive season to help bring a smile on their faces by contributing to my campaign and also help me spread the word around. 

Remember, if you empower a woman, you also empower her family. 

Thank you, 
Aakarsh Shamanur.

Spread the light on   Facebook: Be Po-Lite    Twitter: @BePolite_City  #PoliteDiwali
Campaign Coverage in Prajavani (a leading Kannada daily) 2nd Oct '17
Campaign Coverage in Prajavani (a leading Kannada daily) 2nd Oct '17
Social Media Mentions
Social Media Mentions
Campaign Coverage in The Hindu, Bengaluru Edition on 26th Oct '17
Campaign Coverage in The Hindu, Bengaluru Edition on 26th Oct '17
Ask for an update
1st June 2018

Hope this message finds you well.

Through the campaign, I have realised several vendors are not using the Solar Powered Light in an optimal way. In response to this, I decided to share a list of Do's & Don'ts with the vendors, but since several of them could not read & write, I thought that a Visual Instruction Manual would be the ideal way to convey the message.

I connected with Sridhar Comaravalli, a Freelance Cartoonist and I provided the framework for the visuals of the Do's & Don'ts. It was very critical to depict the context of a street vendor in the illustrations and the "Indianess" is quite evident. The credit goes to the cartoonist for bringing out the visual quality of a street vendor.

Below is an image of the Visual Instruction Manual,

The individual images can be viewed on the BePolite.City Facebook Page, please feel free to give feedback.

Further more, out of the 200 Lights that were meant to be given away to Women Street Vendors, 191 Solar Powered Lights have been given away.

I will share all the Locations & Images of the vendors with you all shortly.

For more updates, please follow the campaign @BePolite_City on Twitter & Instagram.

Have a great weekend! 

Best Regards,
Aakarsh Shamanur 
3rd January 2018
Dear all,

Wishing you all a Polite New Year!

During the festive season, St. James Academy, Bengaluru, helped identify 35 women street vendors in Lingrajpuram(a low-income suburb in Bengaluru).  After distributing the lights, a session was conducted on how to use the product. St. James Academy also intends to provide basic solar technician to the youth from the area. In the long run, they will help in servicing the lights in case of technical issues and also lead to creation of green employment opportunities.

From the 30th of December till the 2nd of January, I was invited by Adamya Chetana Trust  to present the Polite Diwali Initiative & display the lights during the Seva-Utsav 2018, held at National College grounds, Bengaluru. This event was an ideal platform to crowd source locations of women street vendors who are in need of light. Several visitors shared details of the locations of such vendors and I will be following up with them in the coming week. The advantage of crowdsourcing locations is that a local resident would indirectly be able to monitor the light and foster a sense of accountability with the women street vendor.

Through the crowd sourcing of locations, I have received locations of street vendors in tier-II towns such as Channapatna, Ilkal, Shimoga & Sindhanur. I will share more updates with you once the lights reach the vendors.

Sharing a film by Nagakarthik M.P. The film depicts the story of Saraswathi, a flower vendor in Bengaluru. I got to know of Saraswathi's location through the crowd sourcing campaign and this film was also screened during the Be Fantastic Bengaluru festival by Jaaga in the month of December. 
Thank you very much for your continued support and wishing you all the very best for the year ahead!

For regular updates on the initiative, you can follow @BePolite_City on Twitter.

Best regards,
Aakarsh Shamanur

19th November 2017
Dear all,

I hope this update finds you well.

While distributing the lights, I learnt that some vendors needed a system to support the lighting fixture. To cater to this need, I designed a stand which can be dismantled and carried by the vendor (Image Below). This solution is going to be distributed to 10 different vendors. In a few weeks, I will keep you posted about the feedback. 

At this point of time, several parts of Bengaluru have been covered. If you happen to know any women street vendor who you think will benefit a solar powered light, do get in touch with me. You can send me an image & a WhatsApp Location to +91-9740-699-399 or mail me on aakarsh.shamanur@gmail.com

Wishing you all a great week ahead!

Best Regards,
Aakarsh Shamanur

Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
raised of Rs.300,000 goal

141 Supporters

Beneficiary: Women Street Ve... info_outline

Supporters (141)

Palak donated Rs.102.22
4 months ago

Solar lights for women

Sibin donated Rs.2,000
8 months ago
Milaap Impact Partner donated Rs.787.50
9 months ago

Matching payment towards Ashita’s contribution

Ashita donated US $50
9 months ago
BigBinary donated Rs.20,000
9 months ago

BigBinary team wishes everyone a happy and safe Diwali.

Abhinav donated US $10
9 months ago