Founder, Lakshyam NGO
New Delhi, India
Raashi Anand is a passionate Social Entrepreneur, Founder & CEO, Lakshyam (www.lakshyam.co.in/). With a decade of experience in creating, developing, launching and managing several high impact social programs that have positively impacted the lives of more than 7 lakh women and children in India, directly or indirectly. Lakshyam is working in social and economic development through women empowerment and child education. Lakshyam built its own team and partners across states to strengthen program executions. Raashi led the organization through continued growth phase while making a positive impact on 7 lakh+ lives across India.
Her journey began when she moved to Delhi for pursuing her graduation and noticed children begging at traffic signals and crossings. She was heartbroken on learning the fact that these children were involved in adverse deeds like begging, drug trafficking, pick pocketing etc. She observed that these children were not always doing the wrong things by choice – they are being forced by the situations and Rashi wanted to give these children a chance at a normal life.
At the tender age of 18, she had joined her mother, who herself was an active social worker to start understanding how can one uplift the under-privileged sections of the society. She started – Lakshyam Toy Library in which huge boxes were placed in 12 esteemed schools of Delhi and students were motivated to donate their toys. Lakshyam Toy Library delivered toys and books from the privileged kids to the non-privileged ones. Till now, more than 2 Lakh toys & books have been distributed in India.
Lakshyam works in the sector of Education and Women Empowerment. The other two flagship projects namely – Project Butterfly and Project Rooh works in this regard. Project Butterfly aims to provide bridge and remedial education to street children and equip them with tools and resources to make a better life for themselves. Under the program, 3,000 street children have been enrolled and 23,000 children of different NGOs were benefitted.
Project Rooh aims to provide skill-based and financial training in order to equip them with required skills to sustain themselves and become financially independent. Under the program, 4,000 women have been empowered and 23,000+ kg waste has been converted into handicrafts.
Lakshyam has initiated a new campaign ‘Periodt – We bleed so we breed’ on the Occasion of National Period Day has been initiated with a motive to put a period / full stop around all the myths surrounding the cause and to make the period a non-issue and normalize talking about them. Through this campaign, Lakshyam wants to put a full-stop and debunk all the myths surrounding menstrual hygiene. With this campaign, Lakshyam is aiming to raise funds in order to spread awareness about menstrual hygiene, distribute safe menstrual absorbents and help girls continue their schooling and become financially independent. In the past, Lakshyam has educated more than 7,000 girls about the importance of menstrual hygiene and distributed over 1,00,000 sanitary pads. More than 500 individuals shared their entries via msgs to stand with the cause, we were happy to have 50% male participation who stood up holding sanitary pads or with a msg to burst the myth !
Not just the individuals but schools & colleges participated as institutions followed by 10 digital influencer’s also spread the message. The idea of the campaign came when we saw our women in rural areas of Jharkahand & Madhya Pradesh considering themselves impure & during our skill training program they would not touch the sewing machines saying they are untouchable’s!! When we saw these things still prevalent in our areas of work though in rural mostly but we started this as a mass campaign. We also did a small video of these women which featured their stories during their so called THIS time.
Today, after 74 years of Independence still, 23 million girls drop out every year due to periods, around 42.4% women don’t have access to any kind of sanitary pads, 87% of women still believes in taboos and doesn’t enter in the kitchen and temples due to periods, 56% of women are shy to use pads in public, 64% of women burns or buries their used pads because most of them doesn’t know how to decompose the used pads and most importantly no access to menstrual hygiene is 5th biggest killer in world.
Rashi says “My initial multiple attempts were a failure, but today I see each of them as a learning lesson which has helped me to grow the organization” .
Raashi Anand and Lakshyam got recognized by the World Youth Forum and awarded by the President of Egypt as one of the 8 Change Makers across 154 countries for working towards peace and positive change in the world. In the last 10 years, for the impact that Lakshyam has created. Lakshyam got several awards; Such as, awarded Rex Karmaveer Chakra award instituted by iCONGO in partnership with the United Nations and ZEE Business National Healthcare Leadership Congress Award for taking care of inclusiveness in health for overall development of children and women.