“I’ve always yearned to be an agent of change, to bring smiles to the girl children, whom the world should see as an angel. My journey began at 15, listening to my grandfather’s tales of Dr. Sushovan Banerjee, the ‘One Rupee Doctor.’ His stories kindled a spark within me, igniting a deep curiosity and an urge to pursue a career in medicine.
My days and nights were consumed by books and studies. Every time I drove through the city, I couldn’t help but think of the struggles faced by women, especially menstruating girls. Education, I realised, could never replace the wisdom gained from experience. Beyond the hustle and bustle of the modern world, there existed a segment of society that lived in darkness. What was their fate to be?
These questions and thoughts echoed in my mind, shaping my vision of the future. Then, a global pandemic struck, altering the course of my thoughts and actions. The staggering number of lives lost, the scramble for vaccines, and the fragile nature of human existence left an indelible mark on my thoughts.
I knew I had to act; I had to contribute to the greater good. This relentless feeling guided me to initiate Project Shakti in May 2020 – a social initiative focused on promoting menstrual hygiene. Over the years, we’ve distributed over 40 lakh sanitary napkins to adolescent girls. Along this path, I’ve crossed paths with remarkable lives and listened to their stories. There was a 16-year-old girl with dreams of participating in a district running contest, but her inability to access sanitary napkins was a heart-wrenching hindrance. I managed to provide her with what she needed, and she ran with joy in her heart.
I was 22 when I started Project Shakthi. I pursued my MBBS internship and Project Shakti in tandem, refusing to compromise on either. The vision for Project Shakti is to provide free sanitary napkins to the entire state, and perhaps expand to other states, all while dismantling the taboos surrounding menstruation.
I take social responsibility as not my hobby or passion but as my responsibility and a lifelong commitment to bring social change. Together, we can script stories of change, one act of kindness at a time, making our lives truly worthwhile.”