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Featured Organization - Saheli

Chitra Parayath

Anamika (not her real name) has been living and working in the Greater Boston area as a Software professional for ten years since she left India with Hansraj, her husband. She has a seven-year-old son and they live in their modest home in the suburbs. Three years ago, Hansraj began to see another woman, who worked with him.

Then began a life of unbearable agony for the wife and child. He would subject her to physical and mental abuse and cowed her down to such an extent that she lost much of her self-confidence, self worth and self-esteem. He threatened dire consequences if she divulged any of it to her family in India or her friends in the US. Utterly alone and afraid, the woman bore these indignities for years.

When she heard about Saheli from an article and ad in a local newspaper about two months ago, she mustered enough courage to call them. On the verge of tears, she recounted her tale. The volunteers were quick to come to her aid. This was all too familiar a milieu; they put her in touch with legal counsel and proceeded to get a restraining order against her spouse. Divorce proceedings are on and Anamika expects her mother to visit her this month. Her mother will be seeing her daughter and grandson after seven long years. Her life is back on track and for Saheli volunteer Rita Shah, the satisfaction of having helped another unfortunate victim of domestic abuse out weighs every other happiness. " We will do what we can to help" She says emphatically, " and we want women to know and feel that they have a friend in us, a call is all it takes"

Usha Vakil and Henna Chatterjee , both of Saheli agree. " We reach out to a large community of South Asian women in the New England area. Providing support, shelter and networking opportunities, including career health and family referral services." They are both untiring champions of needy and destitute women.

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