At Milaap, the Hope project is an initiative to transform the lives of rural women who were forced into flesh trade due to centuries- old practices prevailing in the country. This project chooses to shed light about the merciless practice still prevalent in India while also empowering them to start their own businesses.
To take this initiative forward, we decided to meet like-minded folks who would understand the cause, empathise with it and be involved in spreading awareness. And there couldn’t be a better way to work this out than with an engaged community like Indibloggers!
To begin with, we decided to meet the Indiblogger community in Bangalore followed by another event in Mumbai, both held in the month of December. Through the Bloggers Meet, our objective was to inspire the community about how they could contribute to change lives of former Devadasis with their blogs and inspire others to make a difference.
One way to achieve this was to speak to the bloggers about the cause, but we decided to take this one step ahead and bring Seetavvaava to the event. She was one of the victims of the Devadasi practice and today, she is working with our Field Partner, MASS, to reach out to similar women in distress.
During the meet, Seetavva’s speech, although in Kannada was heart-breaking to hear as she shared sagas of Devadasis. That was indeed the threshold moment of the meet where the audience remained speechless and moved for a while.
And then to make audience more involved, we organised a jigsaw game that was received with great enthusiasm and feedback.
Post the event, we were so overwhelmed with the response that we decided that this can’t just be a Bloggers meet. In order to make this a pan India activity, we decided to encourage bloggers across the globe to champion their cause with the idea of ‘Referrals’.The ‘ Referral ‘concept was meant to inspire bloggers to take action and spread the message of empowerment through social networking. Again, the response here was fabulous. We were humbled to see such an engaged community on the forum and some words from the community just motivated us.Thanks to Indibloggers, that we met champions like BlogwatiG who celebrated her 10th day of '100 Happy days' with us and raised over Rs. 35,000 in just 1 day. We’ve met enthusiasts like Nisha Punjabi who despite a few technical issues stood calm and patient to support our cause wholeheartedly. Then, we came across youngsters like Vikas who stepped forward and raised funds for Milaap for a cyclathon in Bangalore. And folks like Shushant Mojumdar who opted for a personalized fundraiser page to support us. So far, we have raised over Rs. 250,000 through this meet and we are still counting. Thank you for your widespread support. Truly, we were overwhelmed with such a fantastic crowd and response.We encourage you all to support this cause and give voice to these oppressed women - one message, one time through our campaign on Thunderclap. Please consider donating a Tweet / Facebook status today! http://thndr.it/1ea03Oq