WHY MALLIKA DUTT IS EXTRAORDINARY
Mallika Dutt is one of the finest leaders of this generation. She is the founder of Breakthrough, an organization that upholds human rights and uses technology to get the message across. Prior to that, Mallika helped her best friend set up SAKHI for South Asian Women and became its founding director until 2001. A decade later, Breakthrough is now considered an award-winning producer of ads that sell human rights and ideologies that change the world for the better.
One of the most successful campaigns in the history of human rights was started by Breakthrough. They called it Bell Bajao (“Ring the Bell”). They released a music video in India that featured a Bollywood famous artist singing a song about a woman’s escape from the abusive hands of her husband. The campaign became a hit, along with its compelling ads about “ringing the bell” to disrupt violence, therefore doing our part in creating a community conscious of each person’s rights as a human being.
The video garnered many awards, including the National Screen Award for Best Music Video, a nomination for Best Indipop Music Video, and the Link TV Award for Best Music Video. Currently, Breakthrough has started #ImHere and America 2049. She explains #ImHere in an interview as follows:
“The war on women and the war on immigrants have coalesced in the lives of immigrant women and through #ImHere, we’re asking everyone to stand up for immigrant women and their human rights.” (SOURCE: IBN Live)
America 2049, on the other hand, is more than just a video game. Through it, they are hoping that more and more people will become more concerned about the rampant disregard for human rights in other parts of the world. The more the people understand about the issue, the more likely they are going to be willing to help address it.
Called by Newsweek/The Daily Beast a “breakout star” of the Women in the World conference, Mallika is a force to be reckoned with. Her hard work has earned her the International Humanitarian Award in 2013 and the Asian American Justice Center Courage Award in 2009. She was included in 50 Fearless Minds Changing the World by the Daily Muse and named one of the “50 coolest Desis in the world” by DesiClub.com.
Mallika found a strong ally in technology and social media. Some people may still frown at the means she’s using to bring the issue pertaining to human rights at par with famine and health-related concerns of the world. But we have organizations badgering the government to draw up policies that will safeguard human rights. Mallika saw the need to get people to participate and vigilantly guard, not only their rights, but also of those around them.
In the words of Mallika, “Human rights begins with you.”
TOP REASONS WHY MALLIKA DUTT IS EXTRAORDINARY
1. She founded Breakthrough, an award-winning human rights organization.
2. Breakthrough won Gold for Best Integrated Campaign in Public Service, Appeals and Charity category at Gold at Abby Awards and received Radio & TV Advertising Practitioner’s Association of India Award for Best Film with a Social Message.
3. She co-founded SAKHI for South Asian Women, now a highly regarded NGO itself.
4. She is a lawyer by profession and an activist by destiny.
5. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, International Relations from Mount Holyoke College and a Mary Lyon scholar.
6. She has an honorary degree in Humane Letters from Mount Holyoke College and was awarded the Vanderbilt Medal for Extraordinary Contribution to the NYU Law School Community.
7. She received the Asian American Justice Center Courage Award and the International Humanitarian Award.
8. She was included in 50 Fearless Minds Changing the World by the Daily Muse and called by Newsweek/The Daily Beast a “breakout star” of the Women in the World conference.
9. Upon establishing Breakthrough, she received the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, SAWCC, Annual Achievement Award for outstanding contributions to the South Asian Community.