Chaitali Das, Managing Trustee of Rakshak Foundation – Fights for Equality

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Chaitali Das - Rakshak Foundation
Chaitali Das - Rakshak Foundation

Since a young age Chaitali Das, Managing Trustee of Rakshak Foundation, has been a pugilist and a trendsetter. She has stood up against wrongs for not only herself but for others around her as well. Being equitable, opinionated and a woman with a voice brought a lot of responsibilities with it, which she owned to adeptly.

Being a daughter of a public prosecutor she grew up with the ideals of fighting for what’s right and to promote equality in all spheres of her life. Being associated with law and prisons since an early age, she gradually became aware of the hardships and predicaments of the inmates and over the years developed an empathy for them as humans. She took up the challenge to work with the inmates of the Correctional Homes of West Bengal and to give them a second chance at life because she believes, “Life is greater than a mistake and everybody deserves a second chance in their life.”

She focused her work towards bringing a revolution behind the tall walls of confinement, giving something back to people who have lost everything in life. She encouraged and restored the lost self-esteem and respect of the inmates and give them a sense of purpose, by helping them contribute towards climate change and creating a sustainable environment through promotion of eco-friendly Jute of Bengal. She provided them with the required skill and recognition not just behind the walls of confinement but beyond the bars in India and across borders. She is the driving force behind the paradigm shift of the inmates being seen as something more than offenders, being seen in an optimistic light as artisans, as people who are productive and can contribute positively to the society. This not only gives them an opportunity to be recognized but also gives them hope to be accepted back in the society beyond their stigma because they have paid their debts by being incarcerated and we as a society should aid their fresh start.

She is an advocate of equal rights, reduced inequalities and women empowerment. Over the years through her vigorous participation in several national and international events and platforms she has promoted the importance of women being a significant part of the workforce. She believes that women are efficient multitaskers, who can nurture and flourish not just their homes but the society at large. Disconnecting women who form almost 50% of the population from the economy is a tremendous loss for the country. Inclusive participation and equal opportunities is the key to a nation’s positive development.

However, she realized soon enough that mere advocating and speaking about women empowerment was not instrumental in uplifting the confidence and morals of the women and her peers. So, she decided to set an example for women around her that, it is never too late to achieve something if you set a goal and work with determination and perseverance towards it. At the age of 47 years Chaitali Das participated in a beauty pageant in which over 100 contestants from 15 countries participated, where she won the Crown and Title of AFT Mrs. International Classic 2018. This initiative of hers was to promote the idea that beauty pageant means more than a beautiful face and a slender figure, it is about shouldering responsibility of contributing to the society, uplifting people around you to help them reach their true potential and working towards a collective purpose and goal.

She shares mutual goals and a global vision with the United Nations. She has dedicated herself towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. She is working passionately and dedicatedly towards 7 goals out of the 17 SDGs. Through her various projects she is contributing towards alleviating poverty, providing skill training and equal opportunities to all for growth and development, making the fundamental right to quality education accessible to all especially to underprivileged children and children from depressed backgrounds. She is aggressively working towards combating climate change through reviving jute and promoting it not only as an eco-friendly sustainable product but as a fashion statement and bringing back the status of jute at par with Khadi and Linen. She has participated in several fashion shows where she promoted Jute as a fashionable and trendy product that appeals to people of all age groups. She is spearheading the eco-friendly green revolution in Bengal and across the globe.

She has numerous laurel to her name and she has no plans of slowing down. She is an achiever and an inspiration to an array of people and is admired for her vivacity and generosity. She holds various capacities in social and business settings but her most notable capacity is being the flag bearer of Humanity.

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