Social Entrepreneurs Help Communities Through Startups

November 11, 2013


As many Cornell students try to transform their passions into startup companies, a few entrepreneurs are focusing their work on social causes.

Roshni Mehta ’15 is one such student. Mehta’s project, Nine Yards, focuses on providing employment to women from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who have been disfigured and socially alienated by acid attacks.

“I always knew I wanted to do something about [acid attacks],” she said.

In acid attacks, victims’ faces are purposely disfigured after a woman declines a man offering a date or marriage proposal. When Mehta grew up in Bangladesh, her nanny was a victim of these acid attacks, she said.

“Many times, the woman is blamed for provoking the man, and so she is alienated. She doesn’t get married and doesn’t even get employed. She is lucky enough to survive and basically living to breathe,” Mehta said. “It’s a crime against women, specifically in the lower socioeconomic strata.”

Mehta’s organization’s objective is to employ the survivors of acid attacks by enabling them to produce home décor products through recycling saris, a garment worn by Indian women.

via The Sun.

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