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The story of ‘Kahaani’
Crimes against women have been on a surge since always. We all notice the disappointing and disheartening statistics, yet fail to take a step. However, Kahaani is a Zuv Foundation initiative that provides survivors of various heinous crimes with safety and empowerment. The following blog brings you details about Kahaani from the founder of the organization, Mr Nilay Jayswal.

What is Kahaani?

Kahaani is one of the crucial initiatives of the Zuv Foundation. Kahaani is an initiative to bridge the gap between the survivors and facilitators. Here, facilitators include entrepreneurs, leaders, counsellors, medical experts, psychological experts, and academic institutions for the survivors of some of the most heinous crimes like rape, acid-attack, domestic violence.

Kahaani provides the survivors with a safe space for their growth, rehabilitation, and empowerment. Kahaani supports the survivors with financial, legal, mental, medical, or any other aid they require. Kahaani consists of a chain of warm and passionate human
beings, nurtured and loved by each other, who intend to create a collective and safe space for growth and security.

When was Kahaani started and how long did it take to get Kahaani into activation from the idea?

Kahaani was one of the primary initiatives of the Zuv Foundation. Kahaani took approximately 8 months to come into implementation from the ideation phase. It was launched in July 2020, while the first step in the direction of Kahaani was taken in
November 2019. The period of 8 months was to make sure that the data was secure and that the space was comfortable and safe, and lots of testing around the platform was done to guarantee the same. Mr Nilay Jayswal also regarded and appreciated the pivotal role of Miss Deblina De in building and establishing the platform.

Why the name “Kahaani”?

When asked about the name Kahaani, Mr Nilay points out that the meaning of the name Kahaani, in the literal sense, is a story. Well, stories are subjective, and so are one’s needs and experiences. Each individual has a story to narrate, but the emotions are diverse. Stories also have warmth, oneness, and a feeling of belongingness associated with them. The logo of Kahaani also tries to impart feelings of empowerment, oneness, and the idea of community harmony and well-being to the concerned individuals.

How did this idea come to you?

Talking about the idea associated with the activation of Kahaani, Mr Nilay mentioned that it was derived from some very personal experiences and observations. It's really unfortunate, saddening, and disappointing to see how people get prey to such heinous crimes. The pain they feel is unbearable. Mr Nilay mentions that the pain of the survivors and the people associated with them is unimaginable; it feels quite helpless in that instance. Hence, Kahaani, as an initiative, tries to drive away that helplessness. The features of empowerment, counselling, leadership training, etc. strive to bring out the best in the survivors and help them get their lives back on track.

What is your vision behind Kahaani?

When talking about the vision or the objectives behind Kahaani, Mr Nilay Jayswal cited some of the statistics associated with these crimes. He puts out figures like this:

1) Every day, an average of 85-90 rapes occur in India.
2) 99.1% of cases against sexual violence aren't reported
3) PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) affects 30–50% of rape survivors on average, and suicidal ideation affects 70% of survivors.

Now while talking about such disheartening statistics, the reach of Kahaani to the survivors is still limited. Hence, Mr Nilay Jayswal envisions Kahaani to be at a stage where it can reach to maximum or every possible individual. Another objective associated with Kahaani is also to encourage and motivate our fellow citizens to be involved in such acts of kindness and extend their help to any individual they find near themselves. If maximum people out there strive to help their fellow citizens in times of need, we can all together bring down the statistics and help reduce the repercussions faced by the survivors.

How do the survivors get connected to the Zuv Foundation under the initiative Kahaani?

When asked about the mechanism associated with connecting the survivors and getting them in a safe space, Mr Nilay talked about the ultimate level of secrecy and confidentiality revolving around such sensitive topics, hence the connection and association with the survivors has been limited to a minuscule level. As of now, the survivors under the initiative are the ones associated with the counsellors or other facilitators involved with Kahaani. It's like if there's a particular person one knows about who has been a survivor of crime previously and requires any type of consultation, they are told and connected to Kahaani with their due consent. Considering the sensitivity and seriousness of the subject, the organisation ensures them adequate or complete safety and security. The chain of counsellors and experts cater to the best of the survivor's needs.

Describe the mechanism of Kahaani briefly.

Kahaani is a survivor network platform and the survivors here are from various heinous crimes. Hence, the platform built should be flawless and free from any kind of loopholes that might occur. With this thought in mind, the platform has 3 levels of data privacy. The data keeping is done on open source and the access to it is available to only 3 people even the members of the organisation aren’t aware of the details or have the access to the same. Every time an individual tries to access the data a set of protocols is to be
followed and adhered to including unique codes and passwords. Each post or conversation between the counsellor and concerned individual is encrypted hence impossible to be accessed by any third party.

The platform has a little resemblance to the social media platforms. It allows sharing of photos, videos, or any other content but only if it adheres to the norms and regulations of the platform. The space created is customizable and moderation is the top priority of the organization. The platform also ensures that the individual’s behaviour and conduct are following the norms and any type of spamming is prohibited. Mr Nilay also mentioned how someone tried to warn him that he might even lose his life due to a sensitive and serious issue. He mentioned that this statement could not stop him from building this initiative but furthermore motivated him to be patient and develop each feature in such an intricate way that it ensures safety, security, and zero loopholes.