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When you have been through grief and sorrow, you want that no-one else should suffer. When you have touched the depths of despair, and have somehow managed to pull yourself out, you want to hold out your hand to everyone undergoing pain, and pull them out of it too. You become acutely aware of the pain of another. And all you want to do is share your strength.
I have been through 10 years of grief and sorrow – 10 years of domestic violence. 10 years of suffering in silence, and wearing Chinese collars and full sleeves even in the height of Delhi summers. 10 years of keeping a smile on my face and not letting anyone know what was happening to me.
Today, I counsel women undergoing violence and have counseled hundreds of Women at the Crime against Women Cell at Nanakpura, at Lawyer’s Collective, at Dr Kiran Bedi’s NGO Safer India and at a personal level too. Women undergoing trauma mostly just want to be heard – they just want to cry, to offload their sorrow for the time-being… they simply want someone to listen to them, someone to understand what they are going through. Most of them do not tell anyone, they hide behind the shroud of secrecy - feeling, and being made to feel, that somehow this is their shame, their fault.
I run a Trust, the Woman of the Elements Trust, which provides free legal aid to women and child victims of violence – all who are below the earning capacity of Rs. 5000. The long term objective of the Trust is to establish shelter homes for women and child victims of violence not only to give them a roof and food, but also give them means through education and vocation so that they may become financially self-sufficient. The Woman of the Elements Trust is a registered Trust and all donations are eligible for 50% tax exemption under section 80G of Income Tax Act 1961. All help for this initiative is welcome. I need all the resources possible to continue this venture: compassion, time, effort and funds. Please join me in this endeavour.
Those who care for me often tell me, “Move on”, “Move away from this cause of Domestic Violence”, “Why do you constantly listen to the pain of others, and go through your own pain again and again?”
And my answer is always the same.
I know what it is to live in hell. I came out with my life, my children, and my sanity. I was one of the lucky few.
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