Vision 2.0: A New Paradigm of Success
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child or a garden patch; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
That quote summarizes my vision. I envision a world that is safer and more equitable for all its inhabitants. In an attempt to realize this vision, I am passionate about the following projects:
Mapping gender-based violence: I want to launch a web initiative that will allow individuals in my city to map gender-based violence. The figures provided through this model, if drastically different from official figures, will reveal flaws in the statistics and force authorities to adopt better statistical methods or to investigate the matter. The project will give a voice to those who would otherwise ignore the incident. It will also indicate the risk-prone areas in my city, enabling the concerned authorities to allocate the required resources and to adopt appropriate area-specific measures. Within days of posting this offer on the World Pulse community, I received technical feedback to bring this project into fruition.
Journalism: As a journalist and blogger, I aspire to give a voice to the marginalized. Through my blog and print reports, I want to reach out to many more local and international media outlets and consequently a wider audience, to make gender-based violence a central topic in most homes.
Anthology: I aim to publish an anthology of country-specific narratives of how women who suffered violence have persisted and contributed to the society. From a pool of at least 100 stories, a committee will select 50 most compelling stories that deserve attention. Since digital books are all the rage now, part of the anthology will be first published as an e-book, and later the full version as a print book to reach a not-so-tech-savvy audience.
Informational booklet: A committed group of volunteers will reach out to parents and community leaders, across 64 districts in Bangladesh, and equip them with gender-sensitive informational booklets which will address misconceptions about women’s health, sexuality, and rights.
Shop and foundation: It has been a dream to help my mother regain her confidence, have financial independence, and have her own identity. She will gain computer literacy, business acumen, and design skills through a woman-centric online store. It will be women-centric not only in terms of its products, but also its promotion and operation. For example, if marketing research insights deem it feasible, the project will feature acid-attack victims as models to help the victims regain their confidence and enable society to witness a different paradigm of beauty. It will also employ victims of domestic abuse. Under this parent company, I want to establish a foundation that will educate women about their rights and also help them reach their full potential through self-development, counseling, and capacity-building programs. 20% of the shop’s profits will go to the foundation. Work is underway to launch the shop within this year.
TV show: This is the most ambitious of my plans as there are obstacles to securing sponsors and approval of channel. I aspire to direct and host a TV talk-show, on a national channel, that discusses the social barriers faced by women; identifies solutions; champions achievements of women; and draws the attention of decision-makers.
I want to be a VOF correspondent because it will build my capacity to bring most of the aforementioned projects into fruition. Being a VOF correspondent, I will receive mentorship and training that will enhance my capacity as journalist and blogger. In addition, for many of my projects, such as anthology, informational booklet, and foundation, I will require mentorship on robust research methodologies, concept frameworks, and monitoring and evaluation procedures, which I hope to receive via the program’s personal coaching sessions. The most rewarding part of being a VOF correspondent is that I will be able to forge connections with a support network of men and women committed to ending disparity and violence in the world.