Disclaimer about a talk made by our former contractor at Internet Governance Forum 2018

In the wake of certain recent events, The Bachchao Project (hereinafter “TBP”) has been compelled to publish this disclaimer regarding a talk made by an erstwhile contractor of TBP at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) on 13 November 2018. A video of the talk is available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nXB9if23Oo. The erstwhile contractor Ms Raashi Saxena has spoken for approximately 1 minutes 48 seconds from the time 33:50 to 35:38 in this video.

The talk is part of a panel discussion entitled “Impact of supplementary models of connectivity in enabling meaningful Internet access for women and gender non-binary persons”. It was delivered by Ms Saxena who represented TBP at this specific session as well as the rest of the IGF 2018. The talk was a part of IGF Best Practices Forum (Gender and Access) 2018. Her trip to the IGF was funded by TBP.

Ms Saxena was terminated from The Bachchao Project on 12 July 2019.

The contents of Ms Saxena’s talk are either half-correct or factually incorrect or misleading and portray our work as being of poor quality. In light of certain recent events, we are now publishing this public disclaimer that we do not approve of the contents of this talk. This talk is not a true reflection of the organisation’s research, advocacy and capacity-building efforts on intentional Internet shutdowns and access to the Internet in the northeast, which we have been doing since late 2017. This talk also does not reflect the tenacity, rigour and diligence that people at TBP bring to their work, and in which we take great pride.

Unfortunately, this talk has been referenced on several online pages, most of which were published after the former contractor’s affiliation with TBP had ended and in violation of the terms of her exit. Some of them have been listed below. On account of the disclaimer published above, these references are a misrepresentation of our organisation and its work:

“Through serving as a panelist at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum, Raashi has also been a strong voice for women in North East India, helping them with network accessibility issues and fighting against Internet Shutdowns faced by those living rurally.”

URL: https://www.studio-into.com/people/raashi-saxena/

Date: October 2019 (according to publicly available and searchable information on LinkedIn)

Archive URL: https://web.archive.org/web/20200724110415/https://www.studio-into.com/people/raashi-saxena

Our attempts to contact Studio Into have not elicited a response.

“In 2018, she served as a panelist at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum and presented her work on the network accessibility issues women face in North East India.”

URL1: https://igf2019.sched.com/raashisaxena

Date: November 2019

Archive URL1: https://web.archive.org/web/20200724193139/https://igf2019.sched.com/raashisaxena

URL2: https://voicefromthais.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/speakers-bios-1.pdf

Date: November 21-22, 2019

Archive URL2: https://web.archive.org/save/https://voicefromthais.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/speakers-bios-1.pdf

URL3: https://www.facebook.com/455359008576002/photos/a.483712769073959/483712742407295/?type=3

Date: 22 July 2019

Archive URL3: https://web.archive.org/web/20200724111903/https://www.facebook.com/455359008576002/photos/a.483712769073959/483712742407295/?type=3

“Raashi has been a speaker at several international forums such as UN Internet Governance Forum… for her contributions in the Internet Governance space. Her capacity building & advocacy efforts in the North East region of India have helped rural women fight against Internet Shutdowns.”

URL: https://women-in-tech.org/events/women-in-tech-monthy-forum/

Date: 30 January 2020

Archive URL: https://web.archive.org/save/https://women-in-tech.org/events/women-in-tech-monthy-forum