Having hiked over 25 trails across the globe, it was time that Srishti Bakshi now walked a across her own country, and what better way to do it than with a social impact campaign. As a Champion for Change with Empower Women Initiative by United Nations Women, Bakshi decided to put her skills and knowledge set to use for the benefit of humanity. The avid hiker will now walk a distance of 3800 kms from Kanyakumari to Srinagar, over a span of 260 days, raising awareness about the need of financial and digital literacy for women on the way. The campaign -- Billion Steps for India, that will begin on September 15, is based on UN Women's strategy according to which any problem faced by a woman in any part of the world can be solved through financial and digital literacy. "The aim is to engage people in a digital world movement - where people from across the globe can virtually connect on a digital platform, and join their steps to the movement," said Bakshi, who founded CrossBow, a social enterprise focussed on redefining impact funds. Having mapped her walk to figure the logistical "nitty gritties" with guidance from her father who is in the army, she said she could complete the walk in 190 days in her current capacity, but wants to stop "to talk to people" on her way. Bakshi will cover over 19 big cities, 12 mid tier towns, 15 small towns and 110 villages, where she would be conducting around 60 workshops focused around women empowerment through digital and financial literacy. "Every morning I will start the walk and continue for about 25 kms, meeting people on the way and asking them to join us in contingents," she said. The workshops that will specifically target school girls, women enrolled in skill development institutions and men and women in colleges, will be categorised in three modules. The first will centre around the UN's message of digital and financial literacy, where women will be empowered through a platform called Welearn. Module two will comprise of interactive activity based workshops. Apart from workshops, the walk will also feature two other projects on the walk -- an art project and a documentary film. The art project done in collaboration with Poornima Sukumar, a Bangalore-based artist who has worked extensively with transgenders and women communities, will involve local communities, local artists and the local youth painting 30 walls across India. "We will leave behind a wall which will have a positive message," Bakshi said. A documentary film crew will accompany Bakshi on the walk, capturing the stories, art projects and workshops on the way.
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