Surrey bands together against domestic abuse with Rakhi Project

Published: June 24, 2013

Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode promotes the third annual Rakhi project. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Home is supposed to be where the heart is.

But with the painful reality of domestic violence and abuse, the familiar saying is untrue for many — and according to Surrey RCMP, more than 3,500 domestic abuse related files were opened locally in 2012 and those numbers only keep increasing.

“The one place people should feel the safest is in their home,” said Surrey city councillor, Barinder Rasode. “I can’t imagine what women who suffer through silence live through … where you’re in a position where you don’t even feel safe in your own home.”

One of the key components of crime prevention is eliminating domestic abuse, said Rasode, so the city is doing its part by launching its third annual Rakhi Project Tuesday.

Rakhi is a tradition from India honouring the relationship between brothers and sisters. A sister will tie a purple rakhi thread-bracelet around her brother’s wrist as a symbol of love and respect and the man will wear it to show he stands with his sister against domestic abuse.

“What we’ve done with Rakhi is that we’ve sort of broadened it and brought it into the Canadian culture,” said Rasode. “The positive message is about honouring one another and showing love and respect.”

And while the tradition stems from South Asian culture, it’s a universal theme, so the city broadened its reach this year by also including Surrey Interfaith.

“The idea that’s captured in the Rakhi celebration is not just particular to one cultural group — it appeals to different faith communities and it’s something we can all learn from and participate in,” said convenor with Surrey Interfaith, David Dalley, adding that eight representatives from different faiths will be at Tuesday’s launch.

Surrey Interfaith organizes meetings with members from Surrey’s various religions, where they’re given the opportunity to have a dialogue and better understand each other.

“(Rakhi) is learning about a ceremony that’s typically done in the South Asian community and yet has such relevance and resonance with the value of people in different faith communities,” said Dalley. “Certainly any religion, or faith community, or spiritual tradition cares about reducing the amount of violence in society.

“Every faith community is working towards peace.”

Surrey’s program even reaches beyond North America, with the purple rakhi bracelets coming from India’s Rajasthan region, from an organization supporting women and girls called Sambhali Trust, where women handcraft the bracelets, which helps provide them with education, skills and financial independence.

“We thought it was just really important to support that,” said Rasode. “(It’s) very symbolic for this program to be empowering women who are now trying to be able to be independent and free from any sort of exploitation.”

The Rakhi Project launches at Surrey City Hall Tuesday at 3 p.m. and the bracelets will be available for $5 at local businesses from June 26 to Aug. 21.

Surrey city councillor Barinder Rasode promotes the third annual Rakhi project. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

“This whole program isn’t really about raising money,” said Rasode. “All of the money that’s raised does go either into producing the bracelets or go back into programs.”

“It’s about creating dialogue and educating people … (It) represents that we all stand together against domestic abuse.”

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

Tags: , , , , ,




Featured

tallest man-India-desi

India’s tallest man spends his days in a cage-like structure posing for photos at an amusement park

VANCOUVER DESI Life is not easy for India’s tallest man Dharmendra Singh, who stands at 8-ft 1-inch, his height being the biggest barrier for his career and…
Continue Reading »

TK

Four hospitalized after apparent Surrey street race ends with car wedged under semi-trailer

VANCOUVER DESI Surrey RCMP say a street race nearly turned deadly when one car narrowly veered around a stopped semi-truck in a busy intersection and…
Continue Reading »

indian summer

It’s so hot in India right now the roads are literally melting

At least 1,100 dead in month-long heatwave THE ASSOCIATED PRESS & NATIONAL POST STAFF It’s so hot in India right now that the streets are…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Organizers say Women’s World Cup won’t be tarnished despite FIFA corruption charges

THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The ongoing FIFA corruption scandal won’t tarnish the Women’s World Cup, say the Canadian Soccer Association and Canada’s sports minister….
Continue Reading »

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

Organizers say Women’s World Cup won’t be tarnished despite FIFA corruption charges

THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The ongoing FIFA corruption scandal won’t tarnish the Women’s World Cup, say the Canadian Soccer Association and Canada’s sports minister….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Aga Khan

PM Harper, Aga Khan discuss threat posed by violent extremists

VANCOUVER DESI Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his condolences to the Aga Khan Tuesday for the recent terrorist attack on the Ismaili community in Pakistan. The spiritual…
Continue Reading »

NRI-DESI-DEPORTATION

‘Stateless’ man argues deportation to India before Court of Appeal

TOM SPEARS OTTAWA CITIZEN Deepan Budlakoti, born and raised in Canada, has no citizenship anywhere. But that doesn’t make him “stateless,” a lawyer for Citizenship…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Ross Street Sikh Temple

Media-savvy Narendra Modi’s one year in photos as India’s prime minister

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he completes one year in office. Modi is one of India’s most social…
Continue Reading »

Desi cop viral video

Video shows a young cop being thrashed by four men for drinking on duty

VANCOUVER DESI A video clip showing a cop being beaten up for drinking on duty in India is going viral, according to newswire Press Trust of…
Continue Reading »

Best city to live in North America

Vancouver is one of the world’s most livable cities — but it’s also ‘mind-numbingly boring': The Economist

NATIONAL POST STAFF Vancouver is among the world’s most “mind-numbingly boring” cities, The Economist has declared. Check out photos of the World’s most livable cities 2015…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood

Would you like to spend an evening with Bollywood actor Anupam Kher?

VANCOUVER DESI If you loved the comical ‘pops’ in Bollywood film Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, or hated the ruthless ‘Dr. Dang’ in Karma, you wouldn’t want to…
Continue Reading »

Tabu and Irrfan Khan attend the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India Tuesday. Submitted photo

Bollywood actress Tabu will bring whole new energy to upcoming film Fitoor

IANS Mumbai – Tabu, who has replaced veteran actress Rekha in “Fitoor”, will bring a whole new energy to her part in the movie, director…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood designer-actress

Bollywood actress Shraddha Kapoor visits ‘Baaghi’ set ahead of shoot

IANS Mumbai – Actress Shraddha Kapoor, who will be seen playing the lead in Sajid Nadiadwala’s “Baaghi” starring Tiger Shroff, took time out from her…
Continue Reading »