Shilpi SinghSocial worker
Shilpi Singh, a passionate advocate for women's rights in rural Bihar, India, has dedicated her life to eradicating issues like human trafficking, forced and early marriages, and gender-based violence. Born in Katihar District, Bihar, in 1982.
Last Updated: October 27, 2023
Shilpi Singh: Championing Women’s Rights and Empowerment
Early Life and Inspiration
Shilpi Singh, a passionate advocate for women’s rights in rural Bihar, India, has dedicated her life to eradicating issues like human trafficking, forced and early marriages, and gender-based violence. Born in Katihar District, Bihar, in 1982, she was deeply influenced by her father, the late Arun Kumar Singh, a renowned journalist and social activist. Arun Kumar Singh founded Bhoomika Vihar in 1996, a transformative initiative devoted to the betterment of society. Shilpi’s journey to become a beacon of change was initiated by her close association with her father, and she started supporting his vision for societal transformation from a young age.
Educational Journey and Transition
Shilpi Singh’s educational pursuits were marked by a degree in ‘English Literature’ and Kathak dance, followed by an MBA in Human Resource. Her varied educational background provided a strong foundation for her future endeavors in social work. Her father’s legacy inspired her to take up the mantle of driving change, ultimately becoming the director of Bhoomika Vihar in April 2013.
The “Community Driven and Girl Led Leadership” Model
At Bhoomika Vihar, Shilpi initiated an innovative model known as “Community Driven and Girl Led Leadership.” This model actively engages local communities and girls who have directly benefited from it. It establishes local groups of adolescent girls called “Durga Jattha,” who hold meetings to discuss various issues. Shilpi also established “Maike Centers” in intervention areas to provide education opportunities to school dropouts and those who had never attended school.
Contributing to Awareness and Advocacy
In 2003, Shilpi was instrumental in developing a book entitled “BOJH, THE BURDEN.” This book shed light on the ground realities of the socio-economic status of marginalized girls and women, providing the first data-based analysis of the trafficking of women under the pretext of fake marriage, love affairs, and golden opportunities in Bihar.
Her work found recognition at the global level when in 2007, at Westminster Hall during the House of Commons Hansard Debates, Stephen Crabb MP, the Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, presented the trafficking situation of scheduled castes. This was based on a report released by Bhoomika Vihar titled “BOJH THE BURDEN.”
In 2012, Shilpi convened the “Beti Bachao Aandolan” social media site, involving people worldwide to address gender concerns, especially sharing best practices for replication. Since the passing of her father in 2013, Shilpi has saved 100 girls from early marriages, provided free education to a thousand girls, and rescued many from prostitution within her community.
Awards and Acknowledgments
Shilpi Singh’s unwavering commitment to social change has earned her several honors and awards. She received International Fellowships from the Canadian International Development Agency in 2012 and was awarded the title of Secret Superstar from Bihar State for her exceptional social work in 2017, an honor presented by Amir Khan. The U.S. Embassy acknowledged her efforts by selecting her for the prestigious professional exchange program IVLP in 2015.
In recognition of her leadership, American organizations Vital Voices and Reliance Foundation named her a women leader for 2022-2023. Shilpi was also a finalist for the Thomas Reuters Foundation ‘Stop Slavery Hero Award.’
The Ongoing Journey
Shilpi Singh continues her dedicated efforts to empower women and girls in Bihar, advocating for education, social well-being, economic opportunities, and digital empowerment. Her work exemplifies a community-based and sustainable approach aimed at reducing gender-based violence in the state of Bihar.
- Full Name: Shilpi Singh
- Date of Birth: August 20, 1982
- Nationality: Indian
- Occupation: Social Worker
- Organization: Bhoomika Vihar, Katihar District, Bihar (India)
- Notable Work: “Bojh: The Burden”
- Website: Bhoomika Vihar