Gallery: Surrey kicks off fourth annual Rakhi Project in fight against domestic abuse

Published: June 17, 2014


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Launch of the Rakhi Project in Surrey. Submitted Photos

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

The City of Surrey launched its fourth annual Rakhi Project on Tuesday, one of its crime-reduction strategies designed to raise awareness around the issues of domestic abuse.

“One of the critical pieces of public safety is trying to do whatever we can to make sure that people are feeling safe in their own home,” said Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode following the project launch. “Just like bullying has such a significant impact, domestic abuse has an impact not only on individual families but also communities.”

About 80 people gathered at Surrey City Hall around noon to kick off the 2014 project with a “freeze mob,” which was also filmed to be included in a public service announcement for OMNI TV to further create awareness around the issue.

Rasode spearheaded the Rakhi Project four years ago with the Surrey Coalition Against Domestic Abuse.

The initiative stems from the traditional South Asian Rakhi celebration that honours the relationship between brothers and sisters, in which a sister ties a purple rakhi thread-bracelet around her brother’s wrist as a symbol of love and respect and the brother wears it to show he stands with his sister against domestic abuse.

The purple braided Rakhi bracelets will again be sold for $5 at a number of Surrey businesses and this year will also see the addition of purple umbrellas, which will pop up in locations around Surrey for Rakhi-related events.

“If you see the purple umbrellas you’ll know there is a conversation about Rakhi and how men can support women who may need support in standing up against domestic abuse,” said Rasode.

Surrey’s 2014 Rakhi Project runs until Aug. 10. The OMNI TV PSA filmed at the Surrey City Hall launch is scheduled to air in the coming days.

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