Get All Access for $5/mo

An Unapologetic Feminist and Human Rights Activist Trisha Shetty, founder, SheSays and her team educate, rehabilitate and empower women to speak up and take direct action against sexual abuse

By S Shanthi

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Handout
Trisha Shetty, founder, SheSays

Trisha Shetty started SheSays in 2015 to work towards ending gender-based discrimination and to advance women's rights in India by engaging with the youth and activating them as agents of social change. Through this organization, she and her team educate, rehabilitate and empower women to speak up and take direct action against sexual abuse.

Shetty is a graduate of psychology and political science, who also went on to grab a degree in law as studying law was very important in this field. It allowed her to have an understanding of the rights guaranteed to women under Indian law. "A concrete example of how the knowledge of the law helped me is, in the very beginning, when we started going on the ground and interviewing police stations and hospitals, we realized that even though section 357 C of the CRPC mandates guaranteed treatment for survivors of sexual violence in private or government hospitals free of cost, in reality, survivors were only directed to government hospitals and there the quality of treatment is abysmal," she says.

Shetty and her team have seen stray dogs running around in government hospitals where children who have been raped are admitted. "We have also seen that even though the law says only female medical practitioners are supposed to do the checkup, in actuality, it would be done by any available medical practitioner, which further traumatizes survivors of rape, especially children," she adds.

Shetty believes that having an understanding of what the law mandated, allowed her to do groundwork effectively, which has been the biggest success for the NGO. Since the work that she does is rudimentary on-ground work, it helped her shape policy advocacy and reforms around things like criminalization of marital rape, sensitizing young kids on what the law says, as well as figuring out that the biggest reason for school dropout rate after forced labor is younger menstruating people not having access to sanitary hygiene products.

"We realized that the biggest reason for menstruating people to not have access to menstrual products is cost," she says.

This led SheSays to launch a huge campaign called 'Lahu Ka Lagaan' to push for tax-free menstrual hygiene products. "This is when GST was being imposed. So it was a great opportunity for the government to declare sanitary napkins as tax-free and thanks to our campaign and the petition that we filed in the High Court and later in the Supreme Court. It was successful," she says.

Need-driven, youth-driven and unapologetically feminist, is what this young founder strongly swears by.

"For us, human rights are sacrosanct. And, that means, challenging the status quo, holding them accountable, being active citizens, recognizing the relationship between duty-bearers and rightsholders, and eliminating as many barriers as possible so that people have guaranteed access to their rights and as well as institutions for remedies, such as the legal system, police and healthcare."

FACT SHEET

  • Age as on February 1, 2023: 32
  • Team: 6
  • Year of inception of the company: 2015
S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 

 

Franchise

California's Fast-Food Minimum Wage Hike Is Already Impacting Franchises. Here's What a New Study Revealed.

Several chains have raised their prices — or closed locations — in response to the wage increase, which has now led to a noticeable decline in foot traffic.

Business News

Apple Is Working on Making Its $3,499 Vision Pro More Affordable — and Mainstream. Here's How.

Apple's product is at least three times more expensive than Meta's version.

Franchise

Telling Better Franchise Stories Via The Narritive Arc

Storytelling triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with empathy and trust, fostering a deeper emotional connection with the brand. Let's dive into that.

News and Trends

Amul's MD Jayan Mehta On The Growth of the Company And Its Global Expansion

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which sells dairy products under the Amul brand, recently introduced fresh milk in the US market as part of a partnership with the Michigan Milk Producers Association. Now, the organization wants to increase the range of items it offers

Growing a Business

New York News Anchor Rosanna Scotto and Her Daughter Jenna Ruggiero Share the Secret of Running a Successful Family Business

Fresco by Scotto restaurant co-owners Rosanna Scotto and Jenna Ruggiero break down their family's business, how they use social media, and the impact of their philanthropic efforts.

Business News

50 Cent Once Sued Taco Bell for $4 Million. Here's How the Fast-Food Giant Got on the Rapper's Bad Side.

The brand suggested that 50 Cent change his name to match its "Why Pay More?" value menu promotion prices. The rapper was not amused.