How three women are empowering 1800+ women through travel #NonProfit

4th May 2019

Photo of How three women are empowering 1800+ women through travel #NonProfit by Sushantika

In February 2018, three friends who connected because of their love for travel were discussing their upcoming trips. Over tea, one of them pointed out how India is often seen as an unsafe destination to women. With the numerous negative press and updates, often global women travelers who are otherwise keen to visit India, end up delaying their plans.

Another interesting aspect is how women need to be allies to each other and encourage each other in a genuine way. It's not always up to the men in the world to support the women in their lives alone, but it's also equally important for women to stand up for each other.

A few cups of tea later, Women Who Wander India was born - a community for women travelers to feel safe, receive genuine updates about destinations in India and offer a sense of support to women who might find themselves in a dilemma while traveling.

This non-profit community began as a Facebook group with its initial members being friends who shared this love and passion for travel. One year later, it's a thriving community filled with 1300+ women and nearly 10 women wanting to join each day; over 1000 active members each month and 1800+ engagement each month.

When asked how Women Who Wander India is helping women travelers, the co-founders of the non-profit have this to say:

The motto of the group is to offer support to other women travelers when they are in need. Girls from the group try to share their travel stories, pictures, experiences and tips that can help others. So, everyone learns and inspires others. This has helped the group grow to over 1000 members in just a year.

The stories are uplifting and motivating. While some stories by members are scary & horrifying. The group encourages everyone to share it in this space as it’s a closed group. Girls are happy that they can be carefree while they speak here. From stories of traveling because of heart break to just overcoming their fear of traveling alone, strangers bond over their shared love for travel and uplift each other!

In this scary world where women want to be able to live out their travel dreams, it's not easy to just pack one's bags and leave. However through the various interactions, the group's founders found that all it takes is a little inspiration for women to pursue their passion of traveling. That's why the purpose of the group is to inspire women to take their trips independently. The group tries to help anyone planning a trip to India and abroad with whatever knowledge its co-founders have. Luckily with so many women joining the tribe, it's becoming easier to crowd source authentic details about a destination.

Arshiya, one of the group's founders says: Traveling extensively in the past few years, there were times I had met many girls who felt it's easier if they knew someone from the destination they going to. Just someone, they can reach out to for information. Someone to contact, if there is a need. Someone to have coffee with, if they are free. Someone to help them if they are stuck and feel helpless. So, we thought, why not make one network of genuine women travelers to help each other. Women Who Wander India is the product of that thought.

When asked what the group's aim will be in the future, the three founders Arshiya Anjum, Vinuta Jorapur and Sushantika Shankarnarayan chime in unanimously:

Our love for travel has led us to creating a safe space for women travelers to be themselves and connect with others. The admin team of the WWW India group comprise 3 friends, who have traveled together and missed having a group of girls we could flaunt our travel stories with. It was pure passion to do something that will keep us close to traveling, meet other travelers and listen to amazing stories. The posts in the group help us travel to new destinations through member's pictures, without being physically present there. We live, breathe and dream travel so when we're not on a trip, we're constantly in need to connect with it.

Interestingly while the group is a non-profit initiative, it has led to supporting many women entrepreneurs. As Vinuta mentions Women Who Wander India is for women by the women.

Not only does the group provide a platform for women to connect with each other, but it also supports women entrepreneurs by allowing them to share updates on trips they are planning on dedicated days. The admins don't benefit monetarily from any of these posts. But they see it as a means to support other women and empower the members of the community.

From the latest trends to the latest pictures from a location, this group has been helping women around the world find safe spaces to travel in by knowing that if there is an instance where they need help they have someone to turn to. It's also the perfect example of the generosity the women travelers show to each other by warmly welcoming each other to their cities and offering to play hosts to the tribe by connecting through our one unified love of travel.

We've been able to connect so many inspiring women to each other who have been solo traveling and discovering the world for sometime now.

Additionally, the community has so much to offer beyond travel - the group has also encouraged women to celebrate themselves and take a more positive approach by shattering barriers and norms while giving themselves the chance to do what they want on their terms through this active and growing travel community.

Since its inception, Women Who Wander India has grown to remarkable levels, something the Arshiya, Vinuta & Sushantika didn't expect. They only hope to continue this non-profit initiative with the intent of helping women live the lives they've always wanted through travel and hopefully share many more adventures together!

What does the future hold for Women Who Wander India? Hopefully more travel, friendships and empowerment along the way through good will and support from the community!

(L-R) Arshiya Anjum, Vinuta Jorapur & Sushantika Shankarnarayan, founders of the group

Photo of How three women are empowering 1800+ women through travel #NonProfit by Sushantika

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Hop in to Women Who Wander India and help us inspire each other to travel more! 

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