Ladki Love empowers young girls in India one choker at a time

Amruta Baradwaj, News Editor

To combat the abandonment and low education rates of young girls in India, Saishruti Adusumulli, a junior at Dougherty Valley, founded a non-profit organization with three of her friends called Ladki Love.
This initiative was established after the board members of Ladki Love came to a consensus on a topic that had personal meaning to all them. They decided that their mission was to prevent the abandonment of young girls in India and promote the education and welfare of women by creating an all-inclusive society.
Adusumulli notes that instead of being a school club where one can get volunteer hours, Ladki Love focuses on their cause and explores different ways to expand upon their mission.
“Ladki Love creates a community of people. It’s an all inclusive community of people that are fighting towards one common be cause everyone can contribute towards making a difference, whether that’s through beginning a dialogue about inequality through writing a blog post, or contributing to our fundraisers by buying a choker or a sticker,” Adusumilli stated.
Adusumulli knew she wanted to do something that helped the underprivileged in India, and she came up with the idea of Ladki Love in December 2016. After coordinating supply chains, contacting manufacturing companies and setting up an official website, her organization was officially founded in February 2017. Adusumulli and three of her friends, Rashmi Pradhan, Aditi Poduri and Akshaya Venkateshwaran became the board members and began working on their first product.
“Jewelry is something that people notice,” Adusumulli said.
She wanted her organization to help make a difference by making design jewelry that was tangible. After considering the popularity of chokers at the time, and the fact that they were less expensive to mass produce, the board members came up with the Venus charm. The Venus choker symbolize womanhood and freedom and remains their biggest seller because it delivers a strong message of empowerment. As the style picked up and became popular throughout Dougherty, which is primarily where Ladki Love is based, more orders started flowing in.
“People would usually just send me a direct message on our Instagram page with their order and we would arrange a time and a place for us to deliver the item to them. It proved to be an efficient process at the time…” Adusumilli said.
As the Venus charm gained popularity, they wanted to launch a new style. The board members came up with the Lotus charm, because the Lotus is the national flower of India and it represents beauty and grace. Adusumilli and the rest of her team attempted to combat the amount of pressure that parents put on their daughters in India to be graceful and to be beautiful. The Lotus charm was intended to represent empowerment and independence for the wearer. Everyone in the team had a different reason as to why the Lotus charm was special and why it meant something significant to them, whether it was a personal experience or a strong motive to help those less fortunate.
Currently the Ladki Love program is thriving in schools in three locations. Pennsylvania, California and Massachusetts. California High School, Rocklin High School and Dougherty High School being the branches in California. The Cal High branch has a Ladki Love club but the Dougherty branch does not.
Adusumilli explains, “When we graduate, the large number of clubs already existing might get mixed up with Ladki Love and things might get political. And schools only let you sell on campus if you’re affiliated with a club.”