(original article appeared in Lokvani on August 27, 2015)
Saheli, an organization dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence welcomed volunteers to its new office on 11 Bedford St in Burlington, MA at the open house held on Sunday August 23, 2-5 pm. “It is wonderful to have this space” said Gouri Banerjee, founder and president of Saheli.”We are grateful to donors who made this possible”.
Getting a space for Saheli work is critical as victims of domestic violence
need a private place to talk about their troubles. A space that is easily accessible by public transport makes this an ideal space. Dr. Anil Saigal, President of the India Association of Greater Boston, the parent organization for Saheli spoke about the relationship between IAGB and Saheli. “I greatly admire the work Saheli does. I run Lokvani and sometimes we get calls from victims looking for resources. I have been on the other end of the phone and I know how hard this work is. My heartfelt admiration for the work,” said Dr. Saigal. He spoke of the close ties between IAGB and Saheli and spoke about how the two organizations worked hand-in-hand to help each other.
Anu Chitrapu and Dr. Manju Sheth, co-chairs of the upcoming fundraiser Nirbhaya gave an overview of the fundraiser. “We are delighted to have the State Treasurer at the event” said Dr. Sheth. “We are also excited to have music by the famous Women of the World group. We thank Dr. Rama Ramakrishna for the sponsoring this group’s presentation.”
“Our goal this year is to raise $80,000. We would like to use this to support programs that can help Saheli’s clients support themselves. The monies would be used to for example allow clients to get training or start a business” said Chitrapu. Dr. Rama Ramakrishnan and Gita Aiyar will be running the pledge drive. It promises to be a great event in support of a great cause.
Ramesh Advani shared information about the Men’s Initiative of Saheli where they were reaching out to men to help stem domestic violence. He requested everyone to ask the men in their lives to get involved with this initiative.