Designing the conversation with Raksha
(Left) Featured speaker, ‘Junior’ Anand Gupta, whose mission is to help rape victims.
'Junior' Anand Gupta, founder of SHE (Seeking Her Empowerment) and Ninja Girl Handbags, has an unusual story: he left his business in the U.S. to make India safe for women. The Nirbhaya rape case changed his life forever as he relocated in India with a mission to help rape victims and make it tougher for rapists to escape law.
On November 10, 2017, Atlantans gathered at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North to listen to his journey and to work with Raksha to “design the conversation” so that we can create safety and justice for survivors of abuse here in Georgia and in South Asia. It was Raksha's 19th annual Ek Shaam Raksha Ke Naam.
Junior reminded the crowd of the impact each one of them could make. Raksha also heard from a survivor who benefited from Raksha's counseling and support. Rythmspace got the audience dancing and moved their hearts with their unique mixes that reminded us of the role musicians play in making change and working towards justice.
One major theme of the event was to dismantle the idea of "What will people think"—a limiting idea that keeps people from seeking help and reporting violence. Raksha's esteemed emcee, Aruna Rao-McCann reminded us that rape and sexual assault is a global problem and now is the time for all of us to act and make a difference in ending it. All are invited to "design the conversation" with us for the safety, healing and empowerment of our community!
Design? Yes, the event debuted a tote bag designed by local artist Jennifer Manigo, winner of the Design the Conversation contest. Proceeds from the bags will benefit both Raksha and SHE. These bags can be purchased for $50 from Raksha.
Several Atlantans were honored for their service to the community, especially helping women and survivors (see photos). Manisha Lance, Raksha's Director of Programs, and Jaushin Khaleque, Raksha's Advocate, were thanked.
The event raised over $35,000 for Raksha and will support critical work that Raksha does in supporting healing, empowerment, and justice for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and violent crimes.
(Left) Madhu Deshmukh presented the Ramesh and Vijaya Bakshi Community Change Award to Drs. Ravi and Seshu Sarma for their constant work for a stronger and healthier South Asian community.
Sonjui Kumar (on the left) received the Ramesh and Vijaya Bakshi Community Change Award for being an amazing advocate for political and civic engagement while promoting empowerment of women and girls!
Nisha Karnani (on the right) received the Seeds of Change Award for her work to help get H-4 Survivors of Abuse regulations on the books and for starting a SABA probono project to help H-4 Survivors apply for this relief.
(Left) Jennifer Gagen received the Himmat (Courage) Award for her dedication, advocacy, and collaborative spirit in providing all survivors at Georgia Tech with support!
Website Bonus Feature
Geethu Venugopal with musicians Anand Srinivasan, Tanweer Mian, Lakshmi Rao, Gurinder S Negi, Souryadeep Bhattacharyya, Ashwin Seshadri, Niraj Sharma:
Dance music, audio by Divinity AV:
|Remember, we have new Website Bonus Features that are not in the print magazine. Every time you see the W symbol in the print magazine, you can go to our website to see additional print or audiovisual material!
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