Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has today, 8 March, recognised Srishti Bakshi of India as the 26th Commonwealth Point of Light, in honour of her exceptional service to empowering women in India.
In the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London on 19 to 20 April, Her Majesty The Queen - as head of the Commonwealth - is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 53 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond. By sharing these stories of service, Heads of Government will celebrate inspirational acts of volunteering across the Commonwealth family and help inspire others to make their own contribution to tackling some of the greatest social challenges of our time.
Srishti Bakshi is the founder of the CrossBow Miles movement. After seeing that India’s National Crime Records Bureau recorded 327,394 cases of violence against women in 2015, Srishti decided to make a statement and spread her message of gender equality across the country. She is leading a team of hundreds of female volunteers on a 3,800km walk through India across 260 days. During the walk, she leads workshops for women in rural communities on digital and financial literacy, leadership, and health. She has overseen the creation of an innovative mobile app where people from across the world can upload steps collected from their phone pedometers and join the campaign’s ‘Billion Steps For Women’.
Each Commonwealth Point of Light will receive a personalised certificate signed by Her Majesty The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. Srishti was presented her award by the British High Commissioner to India Sir Dominic Asquith at an International Women’s Day reception.
Sir Dominic Asquith said:
In achieving one billion steps, her CrossBow Steps movement has spread the message of women’s empowerment and safety across India. I hope the Points of Light award helps Srishti spread her message globally and I congratulate her for her tremendous creativity and determination.
Srishti Bakshi said:
Receiving the Commonwealth Points of Light Award on International Women’s Day 2018 has been an honour and a very pleasant surprise. It is overwhelming and humbling to be recognised for our efforts to build a safer and better India for women, by empowering them.
At CrossBow Miles, we have always believed in doing our duty without expectation of a reward, but a recognition like this reaffirms our belief in the work we am doing. Our heartfelt thanks to Her Majesty the Queen, the selection committee and the British High Commission in New Delhi.
The Points of Light awards recognise outstanding volunteers every day of the week – people whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.
Points of Light began in America under President George H. W. Bush and today over 6,000 US Points of Light have been recognised. The scheme has the support of all living US Presidents.
Since 2014 the UK Prime Minister has been recognising a daily Point of Light from the UK, with almost 900 now recognised.
Commonwealth Points of Light is a continuation of this programme – with a special series of awards recognising inspirational volunteers throughout the Commonwealth in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London in April. One volunteer will be recognised from each of the Commonwealth countries in the 53 week days preceding the Heads of Government meeting.
The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting
In April 2018 the UK will host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where leaders from across the Commonwealth will gather in London and Windsor. With the theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’ they will work to create a more prosperous, secure, sustainable and fair future for the Commonwealth’s 2.4 billion citizens, particularly its young people.
For further information visit their website or follow on Twitter @commonwealth18.
For media queries, please contact:
Stuart Adam, Head,
Press and Communications
British High Commission, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110021
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