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CrossBow Miles aims to sensitise citizens to the gender divide in the country, which it will combat by empowering women with digital and financial literacy.

(Photo Courtesy: Shantanu Chaudhary and Kewal Karia)

This Team is Painting Public Walls Across India for Women’s Safety

Team CrossBow Miles is on a 3,800 km on-foot journey across India from Kanyakumari to Srinagar for India’s women.

4 min read

Team CrossBow Miles – established in 2016 – has embarked on a 3,800 km on-foot journey across India from Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu to Srinagar, Kashmir mobilising citizens along the way to make India a safer country for women.

CrossBow Miles aims to sensitise citizens to the gender divide in the country, which it will combat by empowering women with digital and financial literacy.

As radical innovators with an aim to reach 1 billion steps, CrossBow Miles is collecting steps on their app (available on iOS and Android) which serve as virtual support from individuals to organisations working in the areas of education, skill development, health & hygiene and women empowerment.

On 25 February, Srishti Bakshi, founder and campaign champion for CrossBow Miles, was in Delhi with the team, as they continue to drive their efforts with a strong social message sent out through the 30 walls that they are painting across the country.

The team painted a wall at Sarojini Nagar – an event that saw the participation of large groups of people in the capital.

The team, with the collaboration of students, passers-by and local artists, have so far painted 17 walls in various cities that they have passed, with renowned Bengaluru- based muralist Poornima Sukumar.

The CrossBow Miles Art Project is all about the team engaging with local communities through the language of art, where a wall is left behind serving as a reminder to the people of the town or city of the new ideas that CrossBow Miles introduced to them.

Each of these individual walls will have a motif – and all 30 of them will come together as a whole piece of artwork.

The basic theme of the art project is to portray women we have met across the whole journey who faced certain circumstances and emerged as victorious. These are women who are everyday heroes, leading ordinary lives, not making headlines – and yet extraordinary in the way they lead their lives, and they’re from the same communities that these men and women come from. The beauty of painting in public spaces is the reaction, appreciation and participation that it brings.
Srishti Bakshi
I am glad to have got this opportunity to make a difference, to have left a mark, an art work for women of our country. This artwork aims to combine elements of sensitivity, fierceness, strength and the versatile nature of a woman’s life and represents an empowered Indian woman moving towards the future.
Poornima Sukumar, Muralist

Poornima further said:

All the artwork that has been done is an attempt to bring together the various parts of India, one wall at a time, to recreate symphony and beauty. We believe in the power of stories and art and hope that the movement grows further.

Poornima Sukumar is a muralist, community artist, illustrator and documentary photographer who is using public spaces – especially through wall-painting – to engage communities in peace-making and social participation, to create awareness, visibility and reclamation.

The initiative has been supported and powered by the National Commission for Women (NCW), L&T Financial, ITC Vivel (#AbSamjhautaNahin), GAIL Hawa Badlo, IOCL Ujjwala (PMUY), Dettol and Harpic Banega Swachh India.

In addition, rural workshop support has been provided with Internet Saathi by Google India and Tata Trusts.

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