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A#DayIntheLifeofanIndianworkingonGenderBasedViolence

elsamarieds@gmail.com
[email protected] Founder & Managing Director
over 2 years India Story
A #DayIntheLife of an Indian working on Gender Based Violence

Name: ElsaMarie D’Silva

Age: 43

Home city/ country: Mumbai, India

Current Occupation: Founder & CEO

Time I wake up: 7 am

First thing I do in the morning: Say a prayer to guide me in my work and help me make the best decisions

My typical breakfast: Fruits and green tea

Here's what my morning commute is like: I work from home so luckily there is no commute.

I spend most of my day doing: Work on Safecity which includes answering emails and calls, writing grant proposals or applications, motivating my team, planning the next steps and preparing for my meetings. I also write articles, speak at events and host a chat show in Twitter's #BlueRoom.


After work I like to: Walk in the park, do yoga, read, chat with my nieces.

A fun night for me includes: Spending time with my close friends or watching a movie or a play.

Time I go to sleep: Midnight

Last thing I do at night: Say a prayer and think back through my day to see if I could have done something better.

My favorite thing to do for fun: Sugarcraft and baking cakes for my family and friends


My biggest fear right now: Is not being able to do all that I would like to do, due to lack of time. I have to remind myself that there is only so much I can do and that I am making a dent in the issue of sexual violence.

My biggest hope right now: Youth. They are our future and the ones I work with are wonderful, passionate, very committed. They give me hope that the world is going to be a better place because of them.

Someday I'd like to: Visit Antartica.

The biggest challenge I have overcome so far: My own fear of being an entrepreneur and reinventing myself. After spending close to 20 years in aviation, it was a huge risk switching industries and starting an organisation in a field I knew nothing of. I overcame the fear of being an entrepreneur and learned to trust myself.


The biggest challenge I hope to overcome: Helping women believe in themselves and finding their potential. So many women sell themselves short, limit their choices and give up too easily. I hope through my actions, I can be an inspiration and a role model.

Being a woman is wonderful because: It gives me the opportunity to express myself without appearing weak. I also believe that right now women have a lot of opportunities to explore their potential.

Being a woman is a challenge because: One has to work doubly hard to prove yourself but I look at it as a good thing because it makes you better at your work.

What's one thing people don't understand about your culture that you'd like to clarify to the international community? People don't realise India is a sub-continent where there is tons of diversity - language, food, religion, culture, landscape, etc. Many still believe we are a land of Maharajas and snake charmers or extremely poor. I advise people to visit India with an open mind, without any expectations.

What's your favorite meal or recipe that is a specialty of your culture? Chaat. It is street food and comfort food. I miss it when I am travelling abroad and can't resist it when I am at home.

If you could ask the Mogul community anything, what would it be? Believe in yourself as you have several opportunities available to you. Don't hesitate to ask for help as there are many out there who are willing to help or put you in touch with people who can help.

I am a Mogul because: I love supporting women and being part of a network that encourages women to find their potential.




17 replies

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  • Courtney Dercqu
    Courtney Dercqu Influencer
    over 2 years ago

    Hi! What made you want to switch career paths? Also - can you send me that cake because it looks absolutely *delicious*!! I'm continually inspired by women who take a risk to follow their passions. I did the same thing earlier this year when I decided to stop pursuing my degree in Psychology and become a writer. A lot of people looked at me like I was standing with five heads wondering why in the world I'd take such an unguaranteed risk, but it's made me happier than I've thought possible. Furthermore, knowing I don't have a safety net inspires me to work even harder toward my end goal. I'd love learning more about why you switched careers and look forward to hearing from you soon!

    Hi! What made you want to switch career paths? Also - can you send me that cake because it looks absolutely *delicious*!! I'm continually inspired by women who take a risk to follow their passions. I did the same thing earlier this year when I decided to stop pursuing my degree in Psychology and become a writer. A lot of people looked at me like I was standing with five heads wondering why in the world I'd take such an unguaranteed risk, but it's made me happier than I've thought possible. Furthermore, knowing I don't have a safety net inspires me to work even harder toward my end goal. I'd love learning more about why you switched careers and look forward to hearing from you soon!

    • elsamarieds@gmail.com
      [email protected] Founder & Managing Director
      over 2 years ago India

      Dear Courtney, thanks for your comments. I would love to send you the cake but am half way across the world. Instead I can send you the recipe which is super easy and absolutely delicious. I wrote a longer piece on my entrepreneurial journey. https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/safecity/posts/68390 If you wish, we can communicate further on Skype elsamarieds or email [email protected] I would suggest you have a safety net because the first 3 years are difficult and when things seem to not work, can get you down and frustrated. Would love to be of help.

      Dear Courtney, thanks for your comments. I would love to send you the cake but am half way across the world. Instead I can send you the recipe which is super easy and absolutely delicious. I wrote a longer piece on my entrepreneurial journey. https://www.worldpulse.com/en/community/users/safecity/posts/68390 If you wish, we can communicate further on Skype elsamarieds or email [email protected] I would suggest you have a safety net because the first 3 years are difficult and when things seem to not work, can get you down and frustrated. Would love to be of help.

      • Courtney Dercqu
        Courtney Dercqu Influencer
        over 2 years ago

        Thanks for the recipe! I'll be sure to make this soon and post so you guys can see! Are you on Twitter? If so - DM me at @kort_nay I guess in a way I do have a safety net. I work full time, and it is a lovely company I work for. It's not what I'm passionate about, so I guess if anything, I plan to continue my writing until it works out for me. I have a wonderful support system in my fiance who backs me up on every situation. If it involves chasing after my dreams, he stands behind me 100%. I wouldn't have as much courage to do so if not for him.

        Thanks for the recipe! I'll be sure to make this soon and post so you guys can see! Are you on Twitter? If so - DM me at @kort_nay I guess in a way I do have a safety net. I work full time, and it is a lovely company I work for. It's not what I'm passionate about, so I guess if anything, I plan to continue my writing until it works out for me. I have a wonderful support system in my fiance who backs me up on every situation. If it involves chasing after my dreams, he stands behind me 100%. I wouldn't have as much courage to do so if not for him.

        • elsamarieds@gmail.com
          [email protected] Founder & Managing Director
          over 2 years ago India

          https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/en_US/recipes/184/hersheys-perfectly-chocolate-chocolate-cake.html I am on twitter at @elsamariedsilva

          https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/en_US/recipes/184/hersheys-perfectly-chocolate-chocolate-cake.html I am on twitter at @elsamariedsilva

      • Courtney Dercqu
        Courtney Dercqu Influencer
        over 2 years ago

        Thanks for the recipe! I'll be sure to make this soon and post so you guys can see! Are you on Twitter? If so - DM me at @kort_nay I guess in a way I do have a safety net. I work full time, and it is a lovely company I work for. It's not what I'm passionate about, so I guess if anything, I plan to continue my writing until it works out for me. I have a wonderful support system in my fiance who backs me up on every situation. If it involves chasing after my dreams, he stands behind me 100%. I wouldn't have as much courage to do so if not for him.

        Thanks for the recipe! I'll be sure to make this soon and post so you guys can see! Are you on Twitter? If so - DM me at @kort_nay I guess in a way I do have a safety net. I work full time, and it is a lovely company I work for. It's not what I'm passionate about, so I guess if anything, I plan to continue my writing until it works out for me. I have a wonderful support system in my fiance who backs me up on every situation. If it involves chasing after my dreams, he stands behind me 100%. I wouldn't have as much courage to do so if not for him.

  • vanditamorarka
    over 2 years ago

    Your work and how you live your life is a wonderful shining example of to youth everywhere! Thank you for what you do, your mentoring and for inspiring so many to follow you towards social change. P.S.: That cake looks fabulous, as do you!

    Your work and how you live your life is a wonderful shining example of to youth everywhere! Thank you for what you do, your mentoring and for inspiring so many to follow you towards social change. P.S.: That cake looks fabulous, as do you!

    • elsamarieds@gmail.com
      [email protected] Founder & Managing Director
      over 2 years ago India

      Thank you Vandita for the kind words. This motivates me to push the boundaries even further. :)

      Thank you Vandita for the kind words. This motivates me to push the boundaries even further. :)

  • MaryPflumPeterson
    over 2 years ago

    I love this post and I am in awe of your work and your determination to help other women. Thank you for sharing your Day in the Life!

    I love this post and I am in awe of your work and your determination to help other women. Thank you for sharing your Day in the Life!

    • elsamarieds@gmail.com
      [email protected] Founder & Managing Director
      over 2 years ago India

      Thank you Mary for your kind comments.

      Thank you Mary for your kind comments.

  • over 2 years ago

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

  • over 2 years ago

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

  • over 2 years ago

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

  • over 2 years ago

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

  • over 2 years ago

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

    Elsa, your an inspiration to all the women not only in India but world over. It takes courage to do what you have set out to do. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance.

  • taniae
    over 2 years ago

    Elsa, your truly an inspiration to all women not only in India but all over the world. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance!

    Elsa, your truly an inspiration to all women not only in India but all over the world. I am truly inspired by your passion and perseverance!

  • mandy Sanghera
    over 2 years ago Global

    Totally inspirational

    Totally inspirational


elsamarieds@gmail.com
Founder & Managing Director

ElsaMarie D’Silva is the Founder & Managing Director of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) which is a platform that crowdsources personal experiences of sexual violence and abuse in public spaces. Since Safecity started in Dec 2012, it has become the largest crowd map on the issue in India, Kenya, [...]

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