Updated: May 28, 2021
Red Dot Initiative and WEFT Foundation
"Coming from a small town, my only ambition after college was to get a fulfilling job and I got them too. Working with biggies like Nike and Apple taught me what it feels like to be part of a high flying career. But this was not in store for me. When the first pregnancy hit me, I created my first business plan during my maternity leave. In six months of motherhood, I left my high paying job with Apple and started my own training and consultancy firm Thinkhall.
Things were going extremely well until the business went downhill and I was looking for funds and clients. Realising there are not many resources available for a women entrepreneur in the world of predominantly male-dominated startups. Women entrepreneurship was seen as a hobby, not a profession. This is when WEFT was founded. WEFT (Women entrepreneurs for transformation) was a not for profit body to promote women entrepreneurship. With simple thoughts of bringing in more business for women-led, the business is now creating a consortium of investors who are ready to invest in women business. WEFT has seen an uprising growth.
During the lockdown, when domestic violence was on the rise, I took up the cause and started helping rescue women from domestic violence and abuse under Red Dot Initiative. A simple red dot on the palm was the signal of getting help for domestic violence. I was trying to spread awareness of the shadow pandemic as well as bringing forth a core problem deep-rooted in the Indian society of abusing the vulnerable - in this case, women. Through our resources, we were able to free them from the shackles, bring them mental health support, and financial stability through jobs or entrepreneurship development programs.
I've been a true believer of women needs to lead their lives through financial independence. Staying in an abusive relationship is not an option. You can be self-sustainable and independent if you believe in yourself and believe in your efforts.
We have so far rescued 70 women from domestic abuse during the pandemic period itself."
Iti Rawat -
Interviewed and transcribed by Maryam Syed